November 6, 2013 8:48 pm

Where Were You When You Fell In Love With Space?


Image from Dark Universe at the Hayden Planetarium

Image Credit: American Museum of Natural History

Where were you when you fell in love with space?

Not merely looked up, but felt your heart swell with the majesty of the cosmos?

For some, it was lying on a plush green carpet of grass looking up at a star-filled sky on a warm summer night.

For others, it was walking along a beach, turned away from the lights of the town behind them, where the dark of the ocean faded as their eyes were drawn upwards into the sparkling heavens above.

Or maybe it was the first time you looked into a telescope, and saw the moon up close or saw Jupiter with your own eyes.

I am sure there are even those who fell in love with space sitting in front of a television set watching Star Trek.

But there are many among you, I’d guess, that fell in love with outer space sitting in a chair in a darkened planetarium, looking straight up as a strange-looking, lens-studded machine brought the universe to you, projected on a curved ceiling above your head.

If you grew up in a city, the stars could be hard to find.

In New York City, though, they were easy: just head on over to 81st Street and Central Park West and walk into the Hayden Planetarium.

How many people fell in love with the stars there since it opened in 1935? Hundreds of thousands? Millions?

I’m pretty excited, because tomorrow I’m bringing my daughter to the Hayden Planetarium for the first time.

She’s been to other planetariums – most recently the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium in Montreal, whose stunning architecture and twin theaters offer a uniquely immersive experience.

But this is her first time going to the Hayden Planetarium.

And not just the Hayden Planetarium. We have tickets to see “Dark Universe”, the Hayden’s new space show, narrated by none other than the planetarium’s director, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Last week, in their review of the new show, The New York Times said about Neil: “He moves about the universe as comfortably and confidently as a man in his own kitchen. He knows what’s in the refrigerator, what’s good and what’s stale, and how to rustle up a treat without a recipe.” (Of course, Dennis Overbye neglected to mention StarTalk Radio in his article but hey, what are you going to do?)

Who better to introduce my daughter to the wonders of the universe than the host of our show?

Here’s hoping that tomorrow my daughter falls in love.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more