Rice’s Discovery Dome a popular spot on White House lawn

Discovery Dome on White House lawn 2015 Astronomy Day

More than 100 people were treated to an immersive planetarium show in Rice’s Discovery Dome on the White House lawn Oct. 19 as part of Astronomy Day festivities. The inflatable dome presentation was organized by the Lunar and Planetary Institute with support from the Rice Space Institute, which provided the dome, the Houston Museum of Natural Science, which provided equipment and training, and planetarium production firm Evans & Sutherland. The event attracted a “who’s who” list of attendees that included White House staffers and their families, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, science educator Bill Nye and “MythBusters” hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. The Discovery Dome portable digital theater was created in 2003 as part of a long-running outreach collaboration by Rice Space Institute astronomer Patricia Reiff and colleagues at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and NASA. Millions of people are served each year by Discovery Domes operating in more than 240 locations worldwide. The White House’s Astronomy Day event was webcast live on whitehouse.gov and photos from inside the dome are featured on the Instagram page of White House photographer Pete Souza at http://instagram.com/petesouza.

About Jade Boyd

Jade Boyd is science editor and associate director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.