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Astronomer Phil Plait Speaks at Planetarium

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The Clark Planetarium is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and as part of the festivities a world-renowned astronomer is speaking in Salt Lake City Thursday.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The Clark Planetarium is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and as part of the festivities a world-renowned astronomer is speaking in Salt Lake City Thursday.

Dr. Phil Plait is a former NASA scientist, author and international speaker. His lecture is titled "Death from the Skies" and it illustrates how the universe is trying to kill us.

“I’m going to be talking about asteroid impacts and people know about this from the dinosaurs being wiped out, but you don't need something that big to do a lot of damage,” said Plait.

Plait said you don't have to look further than the meteorite that struck Russia this year. “What fell in Russia was a chunk of rock that was 50 feet across and came in at 50 times the speed of a rifle bullet it was moving very rapidly and it basically blow up high in the atmosphere,” he said. “We're concerned about these things hitting and we're trying to prevent it.”

While trying to prevent the end of the world, Plait said his other passion is getting kids interested in science early which is why he's more than happy to help raise money for the Planetarium. All proceeds from his speaking event support the Planetarium’s educational programs.

“It’s super important to get kids into science young because that's when they are naturally scientists they are curious about everything,” he said. “You bring them to a place like this and you are encouraging it, you are expanding on it.”

There are still ways to help the Planetarium celebrate. There will be a space exploration show Friday in West Jordan and on Saturday the Planetarium will host a host party at the Dimple Dell Recreation Center.
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