Oakland Stories and Tips

Chabot Space & Science Center

This amazing museum/planetarium/observatory/theater/workshop contains nearly anything and everything you wanted to learn about space. The full facility is open 10am - 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 12-5 Sunday. Additionally, Friday and Saturday nights have planetarium and theater showings and telescope viewings (weather permitting). Admission ranges from $5.50 - $8.00

The planetarium is state of the art - there is only one other in the country like it! Two shows are available, "The Sky Tonite", and a rotating show (as of 1/22/01, "Supernova" is showing). It seats 240 people and costs $6.50 to $8.75 per show. Friday and Saturday viewings avoid the admission price to the center, and "The Sky Tonite" is a terrific warm-up to telescope viewing.

After a night show at the planetarium, head around back to the observatories, where two 100+ year old refractor telescopes (20" and 8") await you. Here, you can peer at the interesting objects in the sky on a given night (Saturn didn't even look real through the 'scope!). The lines can be long, and the climate cold (althouhgh the telescopes are indoors, heat interferes with viewing), so be patient and dress warm. Outside, volunteer astronomy enthusiasts set up their personal telescopes - when the big 'scopes are taken, try the smaller ones.

Other highlights:
The Telescope Makers Workshop meets every Friday night, and lead you through the entire process of building your own telescope by hand, including grinding your own mirrors!
Dehydrated ice cream is for sale in the gift shop.
The Megadome theater is a 70' dome screen with IMAX-like realism.

CSSC is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd.
Phone # (510) 336-7300
Website Chabot Space and Science Center

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