I know this is a way-out, pie-in-the-sky long shot, but here goes:
I am looking for an old, functional planetarium projector. Last year, when it was proposed that the Minneapolis Planetarium be replaced by a new, state-of-the-art planetarium, I wondered "What will they do with the old one?" (The new one was later vetoed by good ole? Jesse Ventura, so maybe they are hanging on to the original; though the Library that housed it is being replaced.) Still, I wonder what happens to old planetariums when new ones are installed. Some, no doubt, are put in display cases; others may just gather dust. I dread to think that some might even be discarded.
An idea has been forming in my mind lately about the creation of a sort of Dark Skies Monument/Museum/Visitor Center out here in Southwestern New Mexico. I envision it including a public observatory way up in the mountains, but even more people would be reached by a Museum/Planetarium placed on or near an Interstate Highway or some other high traffic area that would (somewhat ironically) probably not have skies dark enough for a Dark Skies Observatory. Soon, I hope to start doing serious grant research (something I have experience with), and to start looking for partners in this venture. I am convinced that it will help my cause greatly if I have a handle on the location of a planetarium ready for donation or a low price (or better yet, in my possession).
This is only an amorphous idea so far, and I know I will never have large amounts of money to pursue it (frankly, I don't want it to become a Large Project; bureaucrats and committees are not where I want to spend all my time on this, if it goes anywhere.) So, does anyone have any help to offer? Leads? Advice? A planetarium projector in your basement?
Silver City, New Mexico