Full Dome Planetarium Shows

Choose an Immersive Fulldome Planetarium Show from the list below for your Group Tour. In addition to your choice below, each feature planetarium show is followed by an interactive seasonal star show lasting 15 to 20 minutes, then a tour of the remainder of the facility, and demo of the operation of Indiana’s largest telescope. The seasonal star show caters to all ages. For those who are bringing younger visitors, we recommend choosing The Little Star that Could because its story and visual effects are entertaining to all age groups. Educators’ guides are available for many of the shows.

This popular and well-loved story has been updated with accurate astronomical information.  Great science, a great story, and easily understood by nearly all ages. The Little Star That Could tells a story about Little Star, an average yellow star in search for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies.  Eventually, Little Star finds his planets.  Each planet is introduced to audiences with basic information about our Solar System.

Created by the Saint Louis Science Center and reproduced by Audio Visual Imagineering and Brevard Community College.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Highly recommended for Pre-K through 6th grade.

TOPICS: Planets, Stars, and the Galaxy.

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From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historic reconstruction of Man’s first steps into space. Who were these Men and Women that took part in these death defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion, and their perseverance to explore, in Dawn of the Space Age.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 4 and up

AWARDS: 2007 Albuquerque Sony 4K award DomeFest

2011 Tokyo Audience Choice Award, second place International Festival of Scientific Visualization

TOPICS: Spacecraft and space exploration.

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This stunning, 30-minute voyage through space and time conveys, through sparkling sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Viewers can revel in the splendor of the worlds in the Solar System and our scorching Sun. From Earth to the Universe takes the audience out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today`s giant telescopes that allow us to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available

PRODUCED BY ESO Supernova Planetarium

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 6 and up

TOPICS Astronomical, Observatories, History of Astronomy, Solar System, Space Exploration, Telescopes

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While attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a local female astronomer enlightens them on the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. The students see how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe. While looking through the astronomer`s telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn`s rings, and spiral structure of galaxies. During their conversation with the astronomer, they also learn about the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble and many others.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 4 and up

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available

PRODUCED BY ESO Supernova Planetarium

TOPICS Astronomical, Observatories, History of Astronomy, Solar System, Space Exploration, Telescopes

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An exciting, educational fulldome show narrated by award-winning actor Tim Allen. The film highlights the history of exploring the moon and provides an insider’s look at the teams vying for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history. Launches were scheduled for early 2018, but given the extreme challenges no team succeeded though many have and are still trying.  It begins with a tour through the history of lunar exploration, tracing back to the 1960s and 1970s. We hear from some of the teams racing to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and try to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. The audience is taken on a simulated successful launch, landing and tour of the lunar surface. It ends with an enticing visualization of a future settlement on the moon.  Stunning visuals and compelling narrative explain the importance of the Google Lunar XPRIZE in encouraging today’s space entrepreneurs and innovators to collaborate toward building a new space economy while inspiring the next generation to “shoot for the moon.”

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE ON THE MOON: Available

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grade 3 and up

PRODUCED BY NSC Creative and Google Lunar XPRIZE.

TOPICS solar system, astronomy, space exploration

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From the journey of protons racing through CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent universe, to the mile-deep descent to an underground experiment in South Dakota, Phantom of the Universe immerses audiences in the search for dark matter. Evidence suggests that dark matter makes up 85 percent of the total mass of the universe, yet has so far been detected only through its gravitational effects on cosmic objects that can be seen. Share in the story of how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter in our universe

Narrated by Academy Award winner, Tilda Swinton with sound by an Academy Award winning team at Skywalker Sound.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 8 and up

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available. Discover free educational resources about dark matter here. Check out the fun ABCs of Particle Physics, as well as the short educational video What is Dark Matter and Dark Energy?

PRODUCED BY ESO Supernova Planetarium

TOPICS Astronomical Observatories, History of Astronomy, Solar System, Space Exploration, Telescopes

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It presents with the use of Immersive Visualizations and real images the achievements of the modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics.High Energy Astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes in the hot and violent universe.  High Energy Astrophysics probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. Finally, high-energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun, which emit copious amounts of high energy radiation. Europe plays a leading role in high-energy astrophysics research. The XMM-Newton and the Integral missions are leading the exploration of the X-ray and gamma-ray universe. ESA`s mission ATHENA, to be launched in 2028, will carry the most sensitive X-ray telescope ever and it will be the flagship of all high X-ray missions.

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available

PRODUCED BY Integrated Activities in the High-Energy Astrophysics Domain (AHEAD).

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A unique among planetarium shows, intertwining science and mythology to take the viewer on a poetic journey through how the Mayans have viewed and understood the Universe throughout their history. The visuals are stunning, giving the viewer the impression of being inside a beautifully stylistic painting. This artistic interpretation of the Universe makes for a journey that will not be forgotten.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 4 and up.

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available here.

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For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planet;  it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: Available here.

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This presentation traces the history and development of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season — from the burning Yule log, sparkling Christmas tree lights and candles in windows, to the lighting of luminarias in the American Southwest and the traditional ritual of the Hanukkah Menorah.

The show also recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice — not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe, to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, and the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus all drop by as well.

Naturally, there is some astronomy in Season of Light. Audiences learn a selection of Northern hemisphere winter constellations, and find out why we even have seasons, as we demonstrate the Sun’s path across the sky throughout the year, and the Earth’s tilt and orbit around the Sun. And of course, the program explores the possible astronomical explanations for a “Star over Bethlehem” in the last quarter of the show: comets, meteors, novae and supernovae, and planetary conjunctions.

Season of Light is visually rich, culturally inclusive, musically satisfying, and soothing as a warm drink on a cold winter’s night — and the perfect program for that end-of-the-year program slot!

Age recommendation: 8+

Science Education Standards: Link

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Start from its creation in the belly of a star, a photon travels across the galaxy all the way into the eye of a young stargazing girl. You will learn the structures of the eye and its functions, while taking a ride on the optic nerve. Discover how the eye works, how technology has enabled us to restore vision and prevent a variety of diseases that affect sight in the show Seeing.  SEEING! follows a photon’s creation and journey across the galaxy to a young stargazer’s eye. The viewer follows the photon into the girl`s eye, learning the structures of the eye and their functions, prior to taking a ride on the optic nerve.  Seeing uses hemispheric 2D and 3D animations and video to teach how human vision works. Imagery from all over the world including humanity, landscapes, skyscapes, wildlife and of space will be the backdrop for photo-realistic animations, which will be used to create a story of a photon’s journey through the eye and its conversion to an electro-chemical impulse that then travels the neuro pathways of the brain to the various centers that create the image the brain sees.

EDUCATORS’ GUIDE: available here.

PRODUCED BY Integrated Activities in the High-Energy Astrophysics Domain (AHEAD).

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This reveals the impact our star has on every aspect of our lives here on Earth. Explore the Sun’s role in allowing and maintaining life, from photosynthesis to humanity. Discover how the Sun dictates our days, seasons and years. Delve into the history of the Sun’s impact on human religion and culture. Learn about the Sun’s dynamic nature what appears as a flat disk in the sky is in fact a violent and evolving celestial body, burning 600 million tons of hydrogen every second. The Sun, Our Living Star allows viewers to experience the Sun in a new way, with never-before-seen images of its turbulent surface in immersive fulldome format, revealing its power and variability in breathtaking detail.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Children ages 8 and older and their families.

EDUCATORS’ ACTIVITY GUIDE: Available here.

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A short feature that demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are “Living with a Star.”  High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted. The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth`s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth. “Solar Quest” features the role of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and how scientists are using it as a way to help identify and predict sever space weather.  Actual videos of the Sun from SDO are used where the audience can actually see the large amount of energy being released.

TOPICS:  Sun, Solar Storms, the Sun`s interaction with Earth, Auroras, spacecraft

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Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away.  It includes information on the sun, parts/layers, space weather and its impact on Earth. We used several NASA heliophysics missions including SOHO, IRIS, and SDO. The audience should gain an enhanced understanding of the Sun and how it impacts our world

EDUCATORS’ GUIDES: Available here & here.

TOPICS:  Sun, Solar Storms, the Sun`s interaction with Earth, Auroras, spacecraft

Watch the trailer.