Open house aims to win support for Range planetarium

The Paulucci Space Theatre in Hibbing, a (literally!) star-spangled beacon of astronomical knowledge on the Iron Range, faces its own existential threat this year. The destructive gravitational forces in this case are provided by the state budget crisis. The planetarium’s operator, Hibbing Community College, cannot afford to operate the facility at a loss, which it has done as a community service for some time. The college is looking for a public/private partnership or nonprofit effort to keep the unique facility open, where it fills a particular science education need for area school children. The planetarium has also been open as a low-cost entertainment option for the community, showing large format films and sky shows.

The planetarium is hosting an open house this week until Sunday, Sept. 26. If you’re in Hibbing, stop by the distinctive building along Highway 169 at 23rd St. and show your support. Even just a signature helps a little. Buy some astronaut ice cream and take in a show if you can. If you are a wealthy plutocrat, know that I am winking at you now. Just you. Special.

I wrote a longer post about the planetarium, space and saving things last month.

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