Paul McFarlane—Fleischmann Planetarium turns 60

Paul McFarlane
  • Date: Sunday, September 10, 2023
  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Location: Downtown Library, 301 South Center Street

In November, Reno's Gateway to the Stars, the Fleischmann Planetarium, turns 60 years old. Come discover how a scientist and musician, a visionary architect, a top-notch engineer, construction company, and a curator with an imagination that stretched to the very edge of the cosmos created a unique historic institution and idea. Their vision was not only to open a planetarium, but to create something that had never existed before: an Atmospherium, a place which could present the daytime sky as well as the nighttime sky.

Paul McFarlane is the current director of the planetarium. He's taught K-College students for over 30 years, created interdisciplinary space programs and worked as a writer and director of film and media projects. He's trained at the Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and has represented Nevada at Honeywell Educators at Space Academy. For several years he and his wife Jenny operated the first Challenger Center in Nevada, taking thousands of students and teachers on NASA-based simulated missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.