Supported by the Clark Foundation, Clark Planetarium replaced the Hansen Planetarium in April 2003. It boasts 15,000 square feet of free hands-on exhibits revolving on earth and space. Exhibits range from animations to demonstrations and from sculptures to real space artifacts such as moon fragments and meteorites. Visitors can imagine themselves on Mars, learn about rockets, view different kinds of telescopes, watch Foucault's Pendulum at work and find out how they weigh in space.
The planetarium is also home to the Hansen Dome Theater, the ATK IMAX 3D theater and Cosmic Light Shows. Hansen Dome Theater seamlessly projects 360-degree high-definition videos from the base of the dome without the aid of an obvious display equipment, making it the first "pitless" dome theater in the United States. The videos are originally produced by Clark Planetarium and are distributed to other planetariums around the world. Audiences can immerse in interactive animations about the universe from the night sky to the Solar System. Meanwhile, the ATK IMAX 3D theater shows documentaries about space, wildlife and nature as well as Hollywood blockbuster movies on a five-story high screen. Finally, Hansen Dome Theater’s Cosmic Light Shows combine rock music and dazzling laser imagery.
Families and students can expect an in-depth space exploration experience and eye-popping entertainment. After their visit, they can take home science kits and toys from the Planet Fun Store.