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TheSpaceWriter's Ramblings

Ghost Lights in Domes and Galleries

17 May 2020, 19:21 UTC
Ghost Lights in Domes and Galleries
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When theaters close their doors, there’s always one light left onstage, called a ghost light. Today, there are ghost lights in venues around the world, and not just places where plays and musical entertainments take place. Planetarium domes and science centers closed their doors, too. That began in mid-March. It was like watching the lights go out in these special places. And, as of today, they remain out. Did they, too, leave on “ghost lights”?

As I write this, a very few such places are reopening. Most remain closed to the public. Some are closed to everyone, including their workers. Several big institutions, such as the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, went through massive layoffs in mid-May. And, there will be others letting people go. Places that have lasted this long, but find that they can’t sustain their already-bare staff levels.

So, when the reopenings do speed up, it could be weeks, months, or possibly up to a year or more for the majority of facilities. They’re not the most essential places to reopen first, and I think most people understand that. We have to take care of the basic needs ...

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