It has been 40 years since the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium opened at the base of Mt Coot-tha, and the domed building has played host to plenty of wonders since. Six days a week, it asks audiences to look up at programs on everything from the moon to stars to the dark universe, all featured on its 12.5-metre projection dome — and often with a guided run-through of Brisbane's own skies at the end. On selected Saturday nights, it also holds observatory tours. And, the site has even screened films as part of the Brisbane International Film Festival. Throw in its changing array of exhibitions, and it's safe to say the space has had a busy four decades pondering, well, space.
To celebrate that milestone, the planetarium is throwing a weekend-long shindig on May 26 and 27. Attendees can view a Cosmic Skydome shows for 40 percent off the regular ticket price, or catch a free public lecture on astrovisualisation by Dr Carter Emmart, from the New York-based American Museum of Natural History. Or, patrons can stare up above as planetarium curator Mark Rigby conducts a tour of Brisbane's starry heavens.
The other attraction is the current showcase Skylore, which delves into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander astronomy. The exhibition pays tribute to the first Australians who've been looking to the stars for tens of thousands of years.