We are finalizing our June public viewing schedule. Dates and times will be posted soon.

This June, brace for “FIREFALL,” our mesmerizing planetarium showcase delving into the tale of Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids.  Across time, Earth has weathered the onslaught of these celestial bodies, shaping its landscape and leaving an enduring imprint on our world.   After our Full Dome feature we will escort you through the summer heavens with “SUMMER TRIANGLE,” a stellar spectacle showcasing the constellation highlights of the season.   Then we cap off the evening’s celestial adventure by peering through Indiana’s largest telescope, weather permitting.

Admission fees for public viewings are $5 for children and students under 18 and $8 for adults payable by cash or credit. However, as our seating capacity is limited, if the initial planetarium shows reach full capacity, we will schedule additional shows for that evening. If you find yourself attending a later show, we’ll streamline the evening for you by initiating telescope viewing right away, ensuring minimal delay during your visit.

telescope with bulldog logo looking through an open dome

After the planetarium experience, weather permitting, you’ll have the chance to observe the Sun (if daytime) and explore various celestial delights through Indiana’s largest telescope. Telescope viewing is always free and contingent on favorable weather conditions.

If the weekend doesn’t align with your schedule, consider scheduling a group tour for your organization or group at a different time.

Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium is conveniently situated on the north end of the Butler University campus. You can reach us by heading west on 46th or 49th Street from Meridian Street (Butler University Campus Map). Parking is available in our parking garage for a fee. Please note that there are three separate sets of steps totaling 66 leading up to the telescope viewing area, as there is no elevator available. For disability-related accommodations, please visit butler.edu/event-accommodations. Wheelchair accessibility is provided in the lobby, planetarium, and restroom areas. If you require ground-level viewing, we can arrange for a portable telescope; please contact us in advance to make these arrangements.

In recent years, the planetarium has undergone a substantial $300,000 renovation. We replaced the old analog Spitz AP3 star projector with a state-of-the-art fulldome Digitarium Kappa projector. In late 2022, we further upgraded the planetarium projector to the new laser-phosphor illumination Digitarium Lamda system, offering vivid colors and 225% more pixels on the dome than our previous Kappa projector. This enhancement provides visitors with a fully immersive experience and beautifully renders the night sky. Alongside the new projector, we introduced comfortable theater seating, a 5.1 surround sound system, new carpeting, and cove lighting, all made possible with the support of our corporate partner, Indianapolis-based Bowen Technovation. Additionally, between 2013 and 2015, our large telescope underwent a comprehensive $425,000 refurbishment by Astronomical Consultants and Equipment, thanks to a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation via Frank Levinson, PhD.

Thumbnail example of the Indianapolis Clear Sky Chart

ClearSky Clock

*Though you will always see the telescope, its movement, and how it functions, telescope observations are weather dependent.