Bays Mountain Planetarium explores the Milky Way, Orion constellation

Matthew Lane • Mar 19, 2018 at 12:29 PM

KINGSPORT — A new main feature is now showing at the planetarium at Bays Mountain Park.

“Out There — The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds” will be shown through April at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the weekends and at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.


For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets are nothing special in the cosmos. The sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — and it turns out they are more common than we thought.

A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.


The planetarium’s alternate show — “A Part of the Sky Called Orion” — also starts this month. This show was produced in-house at the park and will be shown at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through April.

“A Part of the Sky Called Orion” looks at how three ancient cultures viewed the same part of the sky we know as the constellation Orion. The show focuses on the Greek, Egyptian and Inupiaq cultures along with their different star stories and images using the night sky.

The program is followed by a tour of the current night sky using the planetarium’s Carl Zeiss ZKP-4 star projector.

Tickets for either show are $5 per person. Children ages 5 and younger receive free admission with a paying adult. For more information on Bays Mountain’s planetarium shows, visit baysmountain.com or call (423) 229-9447.