Planetarium Programs and Movies

Planetarium Programs

 The lore of the stars and other treasures of the sky are displayed in our Planetarium.  Learn to identify the most prominent constellations of the season in the planetarium sky with a simple star map. Keep your map to help you find the constellations in your backyard nighttime sky.

Taylor Observatory Staff, John Zimmerman, has created the shows using Stellarium Software and providing music and narration.

Running time: 25 – 30 minutes
Suitable for: ages 6 to adults
Year of production: Originals 2005; Continuously updated

Strange Planets

“Strange Planets” is a planetarium program created by the Lawrence Hall of Science about finding extra solar planets, focusing especially on the transit method & the Kepler Telescope Mission.  The primary goal of this planetarium show is for the audience to understand the difficulties of finding extra solar planets, and to understand how those difficulties are overcome by modern astronomy techniques. The audience will consider interstellar distances and grapple with the two challenges of finding extra solar planets—extra solar planets are very far away, and are very dim compared to the stars they orbit.

Taylor Observatory Staff, John Zimmerman, has automated the show by providing music and narration.

Running time: 45 minutes
Suitable for: ages 10 to adults
Year of production: 2010

Reddy Rocket Goes to the Stars

Reddy Rocket is a cartoon character that takes younger children on tours of the night sky in his special Reddy Rocket Ship. In this show, “Reddy Rocket Goes to the Stars”, the audience is introduced to what a star is and the patterns of stars that make up constellations. This is an excellent introduction to the night sky that combines education and entertainment into one fun filled show.
This show was created, with music and narration, by Observatory Staff John Zimmerman.

Running time: 21 minutes
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Year of production: 2011


The Tale of Two Bears

"The Tale of Two Bears" explores two important constellations in the night sky, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (Big Bear and Little Bear). Designed for the younger audience, the location of these constellations in the night sky is shown, along with the story from greek mythology about how the bears ended up in the sky. The importance of Polaris, the north star, is also explored.
This show was created, with music and narration, by Observatory Staff John Zimmerman.

Running time: 15 minutes
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Year of production: 2012

Planetarium Full Dome Movies


IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System

Join scientists who are investigating the boundary between our Solar System and the rest of our galaxy in IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System.

Designed for visitors with an appreciation for the challenges of space science and a desire to learn more about science research, IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System follows the creation of NASA's Interstellar Boundary EXplorer. Audiences will get an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our Solar System's boundary.

Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, audiences will hear from the scientists and engineers that developed the IBEX mission and created the spacecraft, and get the latest updates on the mission's discoveries.

This production is part of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission's Education and Public Outreach program, led by Adler Planetarium, with visualizations from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Visit NASA's IBEX page for Museums & Planetaria to download posters, activities, supporting materials and more resources.

Running time: 27 minutes
Suitable for: Grades 3 and up
Information about: Solar System
Year of production: 2009


Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

Four hundred years ago, Galileo’s simple adjustment to a child’s spyglass revealed for the first time an infinite and perplexing universe to our eyes and imaginations. Join two teenage students, at a local star party, while they learn how the world‘s great telescopes gaze ever further into the distant past—and into the future.

Sure to engage audiences of all ages, this show traces the history of the telescope since its invention set to a thrilling soundtrack recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra. This beautiful show was created just for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 by Imiloa Astronomy Center, Buhl Planetarium at the Carnegie Science Center, and Interstellar Studios. Animations were produced by Mirage 3D.

Running time: 23 minutes
Suitable for: Grades 3 and up
Information about: Astronomy
Year of production: 2009

Mystery of the Christmas Star

(Image Credit: Evans and Sutherland)

The Mystery of the Christmas Star is our popular seasonal show.  Journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover which ancient star was the one the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. This modern retelling of the Christmas story also investigates possible dates for the birth of Christ and looks at recorded sightings of significant astronomical events during this important time in history. What signs in the sky could have been so intriguing as to cause the wise men to cross a desert in search of the newborn King? Mystery of the Christmas Star will answer all of these questions and more, while charming audiences of all ages.

Produced by Evans and Sutherland.

Running time: 30 minutes
Suitable for: All Ages
Information about: Christmas and Astronomy
Year of production: 2006


Dynamic Earth Full Dome Planetarium Experience 

(Image Credit: Spitz Creative Media)

Dynamic Earth” is an immersive program that explores the inner workings of Earth’s climate engine.  This cutting-edge production 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. Collaborators: Thomas Lucas Productions, Inc.; National Center for Supercomputing Applications; Spitz Creative Media; NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio; and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Narrated by Academy-Award nominated actor Liam Neeson.

Running time: 24 minutes
Suitable for: All Ages
Information about: Climate and Earth's Biosphere
Year of production: 2006


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