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Austen Diamond

Planetariums and Astronomy

In Utah, astronomy is more than science – it’s an awe-inspiring experience. Dive into the science of outer space at Salt Lake City's Clark Planetarium, just in time for some stargazing at one of Utah's internationally certified dark sky parks.

Explore Utah's Dark Sky Parks

Clark Planetarium

Many great Utah vacations begin in Salt Lake City thanks to dozens of direct flights to Salt Lake City International Airport and regional connectivity through intersecting interstates. Explorations in science and astronomy also begin in downtown Salt Lake, thanks to the innovative and family-friendly Clark Planetarium. Prepare to be amazed by more than a dozen free interactive space-themed exhibits showcasing:

  • ATK's NASA Space Launch System
  • the Solar System
  • the Moon
  • Meteorites
  • Black Holes
  • Eclipses
  • Mars
  • the International Space Station

This high-tech planetarium continues to add innovative displays, including their Science on a Sphere exhibit, which creates intriguing global displays using multiple video sequences projected onto a six foot diameter sphere. The Clark Planetarium also houses an IMAX® Theatre, a Digital Dome Theatre and one of Utah's largest science stores, making it a destination for the whole family.

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Milky Way over Kodachrome Basin

Photo: Austen Diamond

Dark Skies and Astronomy Programs

After familiarizing yourself with the universe at Clark Planetarium, head out to Utah's scenic places away from the lights of the city and see the expanse of the Milky Way for yourself. After the sun sets on Utah's alpine mountains or red rock, the visual splendor continues in the form of star-filled night skies and a light show compliments of Mother Nature. The International Dark Sky Association has recognized many of Utah's parks for their minimal to zero light pollution. Check park schedules for fascinating Utah astronomy programs led by park rangers and discover all of Utah's certified International Dark Sky Parks.

Star Party at Steinaker State Park

Photo: Bettymaya Foott

Observatories and Public Star Parties

The astronomy attractions don’t stop there — the University of Utah’s South Physics Observatory is usually open to the public at least one night per week, and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society also hosts public star parties at the Stansbury Park Observatory Complex and other locations across the valley that are family-friendly. 

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7 Days

Hoodoos and Stars

Hoodoos and Stars takes advantage of the proximity of Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef national parks to slow down and also experience some of the must-see southwestern Utah landscapes and experiences along the way.

Kid-Friendly, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Stargazing, Camping & Backpacking, Hiking, Food and Drink

Highlights

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02

4 Days

Red Rock & Dark Skies: Stargazing the National Parks

This road trip through southwest Utah takes you to four of Utah’s best places to see the Milky Way — Capitol Reef National Park, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument.

Adventure, Scenic Drives/Road Trips, Solitude, Stargazing

Highlights

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