READING, Pa. (CBS) — All week throughout the country, many have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and in Reading, there is a spot that draws stargazers and space enthusiasts daily. The Neag Planetarium is located on the campus of the Reading Public Museum.
Just up the turnpike from Phiadelphia lies a hidden gem — the Reading Public Museum, or as some like to call it, the “mini Smithsonian,” where you can experience everything from fossils to fine art. The star of the show, though, is the Neag Planetarium, which just last year celebrated its 50th anniversary.
“Last February we went to new dual K, 4K projection system, which is state of the art,” director Mark Mazurkiewicz said. “There are only a few number of planetariums worldwide that have this type of projection system and we are very proud to have it here in Reading.”
A shiny new projection system is only good if you get to show it off. The Neag has presentations for all ages from pre-K to college students and even older. The planetarium highlights a wide variety of topics, including the solar system.
“I like learning about the planets and the temperatures,” summer camper Riley Smith said, “and how some planets you can’t land on and some you can.”
If you prefer to venture a little further outside of the cosmic neighborhood, the Neag offers a one-of-a-kind experience.
“We can literally show what space looks like anywhere within the known universe,” Mazurkiewicz said.
Visitors can flip even the script completely and look down at the earth with the help of satellites in a hands-on exhibit that gives you the chance to understand how the Apollo 11 moon landing and the technology used in that mission still helps today.
“We try to bridge the connection between the 50th anniversary of the moon and the science behind that to what we are currently using in our science to look at the earth as well,” Mazurkiewicz said.
The Neag Planetarium and the Reading Public Museum have exhibits and events going on throughout the summer, including laser shows to the sounds of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and “Dark Side of the Moon” albums if space and the planets aren’t your thing.
No matter what, make sure you take the time to come and discover all that this oasis of science and arts has to offer.