Tonya Tours Alabama: W.A Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery

Sun Spots
Sun Spots

Opened in 1969 in Montgomery's Oak Park, the W. A. Gayle Planetarium hosts school groups and tourists from far and wide.

The city owns it, and Troy University runs it, bringing all who come through the doors a cool lesson in astronomy 1-0-1.

Patricia Jester, a Planetarium Specialist says, "We take them through the entire solar system talk about the different planets,the different characteristics and the astroid belts and things like that."

The presentation at the planetarium is geared toward children, which is evident with the bright colors on the walls, and the gift shop full of fun stuff to take home at a price that's hard to beat.

General admission is $3.50 for adults and children under five get in for free. For groups its $2 for children  and $3.50 for adults.

It's a popular destination for school kids during the school year, but teachers also bring them during the summer months so they retain the information.

They also plan events around those special occasions like your birthday, anneverrsary or even marriage proposals.

There's so much to see, like the coronoscope which allows you to look at the sun.

With this instrument you can see sunspots and solar flares!

Check out the mural; It's the Zodiac wall.

Walking through the dim light helps your eyes adjust for the presentation in the auditorium.

there is also a star machine. It's one of just three in the entire country!

About 220 kids and adults can pack into the planetarium, and once the show starts the fun begins.

And who knows what might happen then.

They might get a little inspiration to learn more about the night sky and the world out there.

Renita Prevo of Alabama State University says, that if we have a shortage of scientists, NASA will layoff its workforce, so it's time to prepare students for the future so they will be ready to be our future scientists and space explorers.

So catch the stars in your own backyard, or here at the W. A. Gayle Planetarium.

In Montgomery, with Broadview Media, I'm Tonya Terry touring Alabama.