Chabot Space & Science Center is a non-profit organization and community resource located on 13 acres in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, in the middle of the largest coastal redwood stands in the East Bay. Chabot features a 241-seat full-dome planetary, interactive and hands-on exhibits, space artifacts, a giant screen theater, a Challenger Learning Center, and the only regularly available research-level telescopes for weekly live viewing in the Western United States. Chabot's mission is to inspire and educate learners of all ages about the Universe and the Earth.
The Center is the continuation and expansion of a public observatory that has served schools and citizens of the San Francisco Bay Area with astronomy and science education programs since 1883. It was named after the father of hydraulic mining and benefactor of the original Oakland Observatory, Anthony Chabot. The Center has been located on the western border of Redwoods Regional Park since 2000.
The institution began in 1883 as the Observatory of Oakland, with a gift from Anthony Chabot to the City of Oakland. The original Oakland Observatory was located near downtown Oakland and provided the community with a public viewing telescope. It has also served as an official timekeeping station for the entire Bay Area for decades, measuring time with its transit telescope.
The observatory moved to its location on the Mountain Boulevard in 1915 due to increasing light pollution and urban congestion. The facility was significantly expanded in the mid-1960s. Throughout this time, the Chabot Science Center, as it was renamed, was staffed mainly by Oakland Unified School District staff and volunteers. In 1977, seismic safety concerns put an end to the access of public school students to the original observatory. The observatory building remained open to the general public, but school activities were limited to the outlying classroom and planetary buildings.
Recognizing the need to restore full access to the facility, either by repair or relocation, Chabot Observatory & Science Center was established in 1989 as a Joint Powers Agency with the City of Oakland, the Unified School District of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Park District, in collaboration with the Eastbay Astronomical Society, and was recognized as a non-profit organization in 1992. The project was led by Dr. Michael D. Reynolds, Executive Director and CEO of Chabot, in October 1996 with the construction of the new 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) Science Center starting in May 1998.
In January 2000, anticipating the opening of the new facility, the organization changed its name from the Chabot Observatory & Science Center to the Chabot Space & Science Centre. The new name was chosen to better convey the organization's focus on astronomy and space science, while communicating both the broad range and the technologically advanced nature of the programs available at the new Science Center.
Opened on August 19, 2000, the Chabot Space & Science Center is an 80,000-square-foot (8,000 m2) state-of-the-art science and technology education facility on a 13-acre (53,000 m2) site on the hills of Oakland , California. Formerly a member of the Smithsonian Affiliations program, the museum is no longer an affiliate.
The attractions in the center include two planetariums: a "full-dome digital projection system" with various shows running daily, and a Zeiss Universarium fiber-optic projector with weekly shows. The Tien MegaDome Theater, a 70-foot (21 m) dome screen auditorium which presented various IMAX-like shows. The Challenger Learning Center, a hands-on simulated space mission environment where 8 teams work together to complete a mission. Many changing exhibits, full of hands-on displays, that highlight space and science topics. As of August 18, 2006, there are nine open exhibits.
This amazing landmark in Orinda, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:
- Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
- Tilden Regional Park
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
- Lafayette Reservoir
- Redwood Valley Railway
- Grizzly Peak
- Joaquin Miller Park
- Regional Parks Botanic Garden
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1261 Locust Street in Walnut Creek California! Stop by for a visit anytime!