PROVO — Elder Richard G. Scott, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered the dedicatory prayer at the newly named Royden G. Derrick Planetarium at Brigham Young University's Eyring Science Center during dedication ceremonies Sept. 28.
The planetarium was named for Elder Derrick, an industrialist, engineer and church leader. He was a member of the Quorum of the Seventy and Presidency of the Seventy from 1976 to 1989 when he was made an emeritus general authority.
The naming of the planetarium, with its specialized 3-D star projector and state-of-the-art acoustics, was made possible by Elder Derrick's son, David, and his wife, Marsha, who have been long-time supporters of the BYU department of physics and astronomy.
Designed not only for public demonstrations but also as a teaching facility, the planetarium seats 119, and can project all the stars visible to the naked eye, in addition to others that require binoculars to see outside. The specialized 3-D projector is so precise that it allows lecturers to reproduce the positions of stars and planets as seen from any location on Earth at any epoch in time.
In attendance was Briant Summerhays, representing the Summerhays family, who endowed BYU's original planetarium. When it opened in 1958, it was the first planetarium in the state of Utah.
The BYU Astronomical Society will resume showings at 7 and 8 p.m. each Friday in the near future. The cost will be $2 per person. For more information, visit planetarium.byu.edu or call 801-422-5396.