Planetarium Programs (Archived)
Browse the program titles below.
*Listed ages are only recommendations and are based solely on the complexity of the subject matter
Earth, Moon, and Sun
Origins of Life
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe
To Space and Back
Back to the Moon for Good
Two Small Pieces of Glass
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
From Earth to the Universe
Mystery of the Christmas Star
Especially for Younger Audiences
Secret of the Cardboard Rocket
Little Star that Could
In My Backyard
Magic Treehouse: Space Mission
Life of Trees
One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
Legends of the Night Sky: Orion
Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus and Andromeda
Travel with the brother-sister duo, Jack and Annie, in their Magic Tree House as they discover a note that asks them to answer a series of six questions about space. With the help of an astronomer, the Internet, an astronaut, books and the writer of the mysterious note, Jack and Annie are taken on a wondrous journey of adventure and learning.
This exciting voyage will carry visitors to the planets and far out into the Universe where Jack and Annie nearly get… Well, we don’t want to give it away. The adventure is just beginning!
Based on the popular book series by Mary Pope Osborne.
Every star has a story. Some are as old as time, faint and almost forgotten. Others burn bright and end their lives in powerful explosions. New stars are created every day, born of vast clouds of gas and dust. Through every phase of their existence, stars release the energy that lights the Universe. Journey to the furthest reaches of our galaxy and experience both the awesome beauty and destructive power of stars.
Tour the far reaches of the universe and our Earth as the evolution of life is examined in this fully immersive space experience. From the Big Bang to new life on Earth, from great extinctions to the search for life beyond our planet, Origins of Life is an inspirational journey through time and a celebration of life near and very, very far.
The attraction of Black Holes is more than just gravitational. These mysterious graveyards of dead stars have fascinated generations. “Black Holes” explores the history, physics, and mystery of these reality-bending phenomena. Experience the bending of light, the skewing of perception, and the dizzying descent into a black hole.
Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above a barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400 years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in space. In Cosmic Journey: A Solar system Adventure, you will travel through our solar system faster than the speed of light, taking in the wonders of the planets and their moons.
From northern lights to garden flowers, color fills our lives and “Cosmic Colors” explains how we use the rainbow to see, understand and explore our universe. Visitors learn more about the electromagnetic spectrum, the Northern Lights and get a tour of the night sky!
Explore the night sky with your favorite friends from Sesame Street in One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure. Follow along with Big Bird, Elmo and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, as they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. They explore the day and night sky, learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun and the Moon. Along the way they learn how the sky we see is shared by many people around the world. Children attending the show can interact as they watch, drawing constellations and counting the time it takes the sun to set.
Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the Moon’s resources and discover what humanity’s future on the Moon might hold. Narrated by Tim Allen, Back To The Moon For Good presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.
Two Small Pieces of Glass follows two students as they interact with a female astronomer at a local star party. Along the way students learn how telescopes work, traces the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. It explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years. The program features a soundtrack recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and a live tour of the night sky.
The search for Dark Matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years. Simulations of Dark Matter evolution inside supercomputers from the University of Western Australia are presented with dramatic explanations of what this mysterious material is, why astronomers think it exists, and explains why Radio Astronomy is so well-suited to its discovery.
Journey through immersive visualizations of Dark Matter evolution calculated upon some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Explore cosmological visions on a truly vast scale, in which galaxies themselves are but points of light, distributed across far larger intergalactic structures of Dark Matter. All of this an more in DARK!
Take a fun and lighthearted look at the myths and stories associated with the constellation Orion, the great hunter of the winter sky. Orion comes to life in a fun-filled, animated accompanied by narrators Aesop the owl and Socrates the mouse as we follow Orion’s adventures as he grows to manhood, battles mythical beasts, foils the plot of an evil king and wins the heart of Artemis, the beautiful moon-goddess. We learn how the constellation Orion was placed in the sky, forever turning overhead throughout the seasons. The program includes a live sky lecture showing where Orion and his companions are located in the Winter Skies.
Perseus and Andromeda is a fun-filled story of the beautiful but unfortunate princess Andromeda, who in divine punishment for her mother’s bragging, is sacrificed to a sea monster—and rescued by the Greek hero Perseus. Brought to life by animated narrators Aesop the owl and Socrates the mouse as we follow Perseus on his quest to become a hero and slay Medusa. We learn how the constellations of the fall season were placed in the sky, forever turning overhead throughout the seasons. The program includes a live sky lecture showing where Perseus and Andromeda are located in the Autumn Skies.
Asteroid: Mission Extreme takes audiences on an epic journey to discover how asteroids are both a danger and an opportunity. The danger lies in the possibility of a cataclysmic collision with Earth; the opportunity is the fascinating idea that asteroids could be stepping stones to other worlds – veritable way stations in space – enabling us to cross the Solar System.
The challenges are enormous, but a mission so extreme could ultimately lead us to protect our planet and inhabit others.
Explore what it would take for astronauts to reach an asteroid and how such an adventure could benefit humankind.
Hundreds of planets have been discovered orbiting stars beyond the Sun. Our solar system is not alone in the universe, and with rapidly improving technology and recent endeavors like the Kepler Telescope, the discovery of exoplanets brings us one step closer to the possibility of finding an Earth-like world. How will this change how we view our place in the universe? Are we alone?
The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut?
Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him.
Earth, Moon, & Sun is a fast-paced full dome demonstration of lunar phases, eclipses, day and night, the sun and other puzzling events with the help of a confused coyote. This program beautifully illustrates basic concepts like moon phases and seasons. Based on the trickster of Native American lore, Coyote is constantly corrected in his misunderstandings of how things work. A live tour of the Maine sky and its beautiful constellations completes this micro-unit of astronomy.
Join two children on a magical journey through the Solar System, aided by a talking astronomy book, a cardboard rocket, and a vivid imagination. During this imaginative show, audiences will land on Venus, fly through the rings of Saturn, and discover the secrets of the Solar System.
With song and colorful animation it is an adventure to explore a backyard like this one with children’s song writer, Fred Penner, of Nickelodeon fame. His excitement and love of nature takes visitors on a tour of daytime discovery and then the wonders of the night sky. The changing seasons, rainbows, constellation patterns, planets and moon phases set to music are just a few of the treats in store. From day to night to sunrise, looking at the world and space around us, In My Backyard is a journey that shows how much fun learning about our world can be.
It’s hard to be a little star in a big universe! Join a medium sized, yellow star as he makes his way through space. In his travels he meets many different types of stars and learns about some of the other things that makes our universe so interesting. After meeting stars, nebulas, and galaxies, the little star takes a good look at himself and finds that he, too, is special. He has nine planets that depend on him for warmth and light. Along with the little star audiences learn the ways each planet is special.
The Hitchhikers Guide the Universe is and incredible visual tour of the size and scale of our cosmos! Join planetarium manager Shawn Laatsch as he host the evening presentation and “flies” participants out into space on a unique and engaging tour through the Universe. Audience members will travel to our local planets and their moon systems, zip through the rings of Saturn, and explore the asteroids. We will visit other star systems, explore nebulae and go far beyond to star clusters and other areas of our Milky Way galaxy. Traveling beyond the Milky Way, the journey will continue into inter galactic space exploring our local group of galaxies, the Virgo cluster of galaxies, and to the farthest edge of the Universe. Feel as if you are “jumping off the Earth” as you voyage through time and space!
In The Life of Trees a cheeky ladybug called Dolores and a quirky firefly called Mike take the audience on an adventurous journey of exploration into the wondrous world of trees. Attend the Creepy Crawlies Educational Institution to find out how trees live and their importance to the wider environment.
On the excursion Delores and Mike zip around a tree, and in doing so, playfully learn its secrets: How do plants get their food from the Sun? How do they grow? How does water get from the roots to the top of the crown? And how does all this make life on our earth possible?
The Life of Trees is a perfect planetarium show for the whole family that raises the awareness of protecting the natural environment in which we live.
Space exploration, our greatest adventure, is having a big impact on our lives. It is helping us to discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, and it is reaching down into our world and influencing the way we live.
To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. What is happening above is coming back down to Earth!
Explore the inner workings of Earth’s climate system with visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations. This exciting program follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes. We explore the relationship of Earth and the Sun, life and the carbon cycle, Earth’s climate control system, and how human activities are changing our planet. Come learn how dynamic planet Earth really is!
Join the young Charles Darwin on an adventurous voyage of exploration circumnavigating the World with the HMS Beagle. In the 19th century in Victorian times many physical phenomena were already discovered and described by natural laws, but life’s most eloquent mechanism was still unknown: How could new species arise to replace those lost in extinction? Darwin explored the explanation for how life evolved and the factors which have shaped its development here on planet Earth. Come explore how he used evidence and reason to come up with the theory of Natural Selection.
The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.
Journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. Investigate possible dates for the birth of Christ and look at recorded sightings of significant historical and astronomical events during this timeframe. We’ll explore scientific explanations for celestial objects that could have been remarkable enough to cause the wise men to travel across the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem just to see a newborn King. Regardless of what the star was, the message of Peace on Earth and goodwill to all still rings true today!