Mother and child amazed by star show

Planetarium

Follow the stars with a guided presentation by one of the Museum’s educators in the Dr. and Mrs. Herbert J. Silverman Planetarium, a 24-foot domed room with Apollo Star Projector. Due to the planetarium’s low lighting and the intimate nature of the presentation, guests must be seated to start of the show.

Planetarium presentations are on Saturday and Sunday, and every day during school breaks and summer:

  • 11:15 a.m.: Zoo in the Sky explores the stories, myths and legends of seasonal animal constellations! This show is suitable for young children.
  • 1:15 p.m. (Dec. 9 to Dec. 24): Santa’s SkyDid you ever wonder what the sky looks like from Santa’s workshop?  Look into the night sky as if you were at the North Pole, and find the constellations that Syracuse and the North Pole have in common. Show is suitable for anyone who believes in Santa.
  • 1:15 p.m. (starting Dec. 26): Our Solar System – Take a trip through our solar system and learn what makes each planet special. We’ll start with Mercury and travel out to the dwarf planet known as Pluto. Figure out which planets and constellations we’ll be able to see that night.
  • 3:15 p.m.: Seasonal Sky takes visitors on a journey through the night sky with stories, constellations, and interesting astronomical sights. Suitable for ages 8 and older, this show changes seasonally. Be sure to check it out year-round!

Groups can book private planetarium presentations. All shows are led by a MOST educator, utilize the Apollo Star Projector, and include identification of constellations. Additional presentations available for group visits include:

Dancing Light: Auroras and the Sun (30 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children eight and older)

The Northern Lights are one of the most beautiful and fascinating natural phenomena on our planet. Using a series of visualizations from NASA, this presentation explains what causes them, some of the ways NASA studies the sun, and why studying the sun is so important.

Extraterrestrial: Life Beyond Earth (30 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children eight and older)

Have you ever wondered if there is life beyond Earth? This program explores what makes Earth a great place for life, and whether it can exist elsewhere in our universe. The show uses NASA visualizations to engage students’ curiosity and highlights scientific searches for alien life.

Harry Potter and the Night Sky (30 minutes)
(Recommended for anyone who enjoys the Harry Potter book series)

The stars, constellations, and other celestial objects inspired author J.K. Rowling’s names for characters in her celebrated Harry Potter book series. In this show, we will bring down the lights and find the objects that helped to name the world of Harry Potter.

Mother Earth: What We Can Learn from the Haudenosaunee (20 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children eight and older)

This presentation uses nature photography and NASA photos and video to examine the natural cycles of Earth and spotlight some changes humans have caused. Much of the show is devoted to the Haudenosaunee, their history, constellation stories, and conservation philosophies.  Their long history of successfully living with the land provides a lesson on how to co-exist with Mother Earth.

Our Place in the Universe (25 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children 12 and up)

Discover just how big the universe actually is and how much space we take up. Learn about NASA’s current plans to physically explore the universe. We bring down the lights and look into our current night sky as seen from Syracuse.

Our Solar System (30 minutes)
(Recommended for all ages)

Take a trip through our solar system and learn what makes each planet special. We’ll start with Mercury and travel out to the dwarf planet known as Pluto. Figure out which planets and constellations we’ll be able to see that night.

Reach for the Stars: Space Exploration (30 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children eight and older)

Using stunning NASA visualizations, the first part of the presentation focuses on understanding the solar system. The second part looks at humans’ presence in space, focusing on the International Space Station, Moon landings, Mars rovers, and Voyager missions. This presentation addresses New York State sixth grade Earth Science exam topics.

Santa’s Sky: The View from the North Pole (20 minutes)
(Recommended for anyone who believes in Santa)

Did you ever wonder what the sky looks like from Santa’s workshop?  Look into the night sky as if you were at the North Pole, and find the constellations that Syracuse and the North Pole have in common. Show is suitable for anyone who believes in Santa.

The Biggest Bear (20 minutes)
(Recommended for children 2 to 5 years old)

Kick back, relax, and enjoy the story of “The Biggest Bear,” by Adam Ralf. We’ll read through the book and then watch the story come to life. See the biggest bear in the night sky and how he travels across the sky and throughout the year.

The Changing Universe (30 minutes)
(Recommended for adults and children 13 and older)

How does the night sky change over time? Have you ever wondered what the sky would look like if you could time travel? Travel back in time and see the stars that Neanderthals saw. Then travel into the future to see how things will change. Finally return to our time to view the constellations viewable that evening.

Costs

  • Regularly scheduled planetarium presentations are free for members and cost $3 per person for nonmembers
  • Private planetarium shows cost $100
  • The planetarium holds 50 people, so multiple shows may be necessary for larger groups
  • Private shows must be booked at least three weeks in advance with our guest services coordinator