Admission is free and open to the public!
Programs: During the academic year, programs are held every Friday at 7:00 PM except on holidays. The planetarium is closed during the summer months (from May through mid-August). The show schedule can be found below.
Contact information: Group reservations and special programs for some of the programs listed below can be arranged by emailing Mark Fairclough at email@example.com or calling the planetarium at (517) 265-5161 x4788. All other requests can be sent to Dr. Sarah Hanson at (517)-264-3944.
Follow the Drinking Gourd
In honor of African-American History Month, the planetarium will present a program based on the children’s book, Follow the Drinking Gourd, by Jeanette Winter. We will take a virtual journey back in time to learn how the constellations helped escaped slaves find their way to freedom using the Underground Railroad. This program is sure to provide a wonderful experience for family and friends.
Shows will be on the following Fridays at 7:00 PM
Star Talk: The Spring Skies
As we approach the Vernal Equinox and the first day of spring, the dazzling winter constellations are moving into the western sky and the spring constellations are rising higher in the east. Four planets are conspicuous in the sky this month. The planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the early morning skies. Venus is transitioning from a morning star to the evening sky as the month progresses. Once again this year the Blue Moon rules the night on March the 31st. We will also have a report on the Michigan meteor fall of January.
Friday March 2 at 7:00 PM
Timothy Monger: Music Under the Stars
Michigan-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Timothy Monger first established himself as a co-founder of seminal Ann Arbor folk-rock band Great Lakes Myth Society. In the mid-00’s the band earned a national cult following rendering detailed art-pop with British folk undertones and a distinctly Midwestern rock sensibility. As a solo artist, Monger has released three albums beginning with the lush chamber pop of 2004’s Summer Cherry Ghosts, followed in 2011 by the more rustically textured The New Britton Sound. Released in 2017, his third album, Amber Lantern, melds together elements of psych, folk, and jangling power pop. Timothy will play for about 45 minutes under the canopy of winter stars. Seating is limited, and will be on a first-come basis.
Friday February 9 at 7:00 PM
The Hot and Energetic Universe
This Fulldome show explores the achievements of modern terrestrial and orbital observatories and looks at electromagnetic radiation in the Universe. Learn what high-energy radiation tells us about our own galaxy and how neutron stars, supernova remnants, and even stars like our Sun can make our galaxy an inhospitable and violent place. Geared for middle school through adult audiences.
Friday March 16 at 7:00 PM
Ever wonder why the sky is blue? Or why Mars is red? This full dome planetarium show will take you on an amazing journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum to learn the answers to these questions and more! Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye. Investigate X-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back at your doctor’s office. You will even see the actual color of a dinosaur—based on recent evidence. Join us for this wonderful adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light!
Friday March 23 at 7:00 PM
Earth, Moon, & Sun
This Fulldome show explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science. Learn why the Sun rises and sets and the basics of fusion and solar energy. Examine the Moon’s orbit, craters, phases and eclipses. The show is appropriate for families and elementary school children.
Friday March 30 at 7:00 PM