Being, as we are, in the midst of the annual Perseid meteor showers in first life, the night sky is more fascinating than usual to me right now. So I was delighted to discover that only one sim away from the site I blogged most recently, The Unknown Theme Park, is a place called "Space - A Planetarium," owned by Hazelee Haller. Located alongside the Second Life Railroad (SLRR) tracks in Euclida, it is one of the most creative uses of a 512 sqm parcel I've ever seen.
What's the significance of a 512, you might ask? Those of you who are premium members will know that one perk of membership is either ownership of a Linden home, or, for those of us who own Mainland, the option of being granted a 512 sqm bonus before land use fees are applied. Either option comes with an allowance of 117 prims, although if you chose to own a Linden home, the house that comes with your home does not count against the prim allowance. Used as a stand-alone parcel on the Mainland, 512 sqm is really rather tiny, although you can find homes that size on the marketplace, and the advent of mesh has made the 117 prim allowance quite workable. However, most people who don't take the Linden home option either roll the bonus into their land fees, or put up a skybox or building platform above ground level.
The ringed globe, pictured above, is one such skybox, but it is much more creative than a simple building platform. When you arrive at the planetarium on ground level (making sure not to get hit by a passing SLRR train on your way in) look around at the tiny but elegant build and admire the sculptures there. (I'm especially fond of "Life Cycles", by Elie Giulia.) Then, follow the footsteps and teleport to the globe high above. Inside the globe, you'll find what Hazelee calls a "stylized view of our galaxy", pictured below.
Level One includes a static display of planets and their moons, and touching each object will open a link to a web page with more information. Level Two shows the planetary orbital of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars around the sun. Following the footsteps through the skybox wall at the base of the ramp between the levels will lead you to the ring outside. This ring can be walked, though the spinning motion might make you a bit dizzy, and I did fall off when trying to re-enter the globe.
Hazelee commented, "I have had the Planetarium since 2007. I put it up for sale a couple of years ago, with the stipulation that it remain as is. Finding no buyers who would promise me that, I took it off the market and am glad no one took me up on the offer!" All in all, this is a fun find, and one of many hidden gems along the SLRR route in Heterocera. If you enjoyed your visit, there is a tip jar located within the sky globe.