Planetarium shows

The Wayne State University Planetarium offers shows for the Wayne State University community of students, faculty and staff, K-12 schools, math and science centers, special interest groups and community organizations and the general public. Reservations can be made at planetarium.wayne.edu/starstudents.

Public planetarium shows

The Wayne State Planetarium presents public planetarium shows on a regular basis. Our public shows are presented at 7 p.m. and 8:30pm most Friday evenings throughout the semester. Family shows geared at children under 10 and their families are hosted one Saturday morning a month. 

Admission is free. A reservation for public planetarium shows is recommended.  Guests with reserved seats should arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the show.  At that time all unclaimed seats will be made available to walk-in guests.

Two-thirds of our 60 seats may be reserved using Eventbrite beginning at noon the Sunday before the show. The other 20 tickets will be available at the door for walk-ins. Ticketed guests that are not at the planetarium 10 minutes before show time will have their seats released to walk-in guests. We recommend arriving 20 – 30 minutes early for walk-in seats, to ensure you get one

Free Young Astronomer shows are offered one Saturday morning per month. These shows are geared towards children under 10 and their families. Two-thirds of our seats may be reserved using Eventbrite beginning at noon the Sunday before the show. The final one-third of tickets will be available at the door for walk-ins. Ticketed guests that are not at the planetarium 10 minutes before show time will have their seats released to walk-in guests. We recommend arriving 20-30 minutes early for walk-in seats

Please see our FAQ for information about what to expect at planetarium shows. Public shows are free and open to everyone. Due to strong interest, we recommend you reserve seats if you are coming from a distance.

Public lecture series: Science under the dome

The planetarium offers a lecture series titled Science Under the Dome which is free and open to the public. RSVP is required for these free public lectures.

View upcoming lectures


Shows for astronomy and physics students

Planetarium shows constitute an integral part of the Wayne State University BA in astronomy program and the AST 2010 Descriptive Astronomy course curriculum. 

Students enrolled in AST2010 have two opportunities to visit the planetarium during the semester. The first AST2010 planetarium show features the fulldome film Two Pieces of Glass - The Amazing Telescope.  The second AST2010 planetarium show of the semester features the fulldome film The Secret Lives of Stars.

Two Pieces of Glass - The Amazing Telescope: Attend a star party and learn how the telescope has increased our awareness of our place in space. Discover the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and galaxies. Witness the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, and Hubble. Learn how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe.

The Secret Lives of Stars: With voice-over by Star Trek's Patrick Stewart, The Secret Lives of Stars introduces viewers to the array of types of stars in the universe, how they form and how they die.  The film not only discusses what we know, but how we know it.

Your instructor, along with the Department of Physics and Astronomy, would like to offer you a chance to learn more about the night sky, learn about degree programs in our department, and give you the opportunity to earn extra credit in the process!

Class instruction

Instruction for AST2010, PHY1020, PHY1040 PHY2130, PHY2140, PHY2170, or PHY2180, with a participating instructor.

Your instructor has already explained or will explain the extent of credits, or extra credits applicable to you for visiting the planetarium. The instructor will be informed of your attendance at the end of the term based on a form that you fill out after each planetarium show that you attend. If you leave the planetarium show early or fail to fill out the form, you are not entitled to credit.

To emphasize: the critical component is the evaluation form that is filled out at the END of the planetarium show.

Depending on your instructor, you may also be able to receive extra credit for attending a show (public show or undergraduate student show). See your syllabus to determine if this is an option. All shows are free and run for approximately one hour. Please see the planetarium calendar for show times.


K-12 shows

The Wayne State University Planetarium offers private shows for K-12 school groups, Math and Science Centers, special interest groups and community organizations for a fee. We offer a variety of educational outreach programs that incorporate our planetarium shows with physics demonstrations (Phantastic Physics Phenomena) and hands-on science activities.

Our planetarium programs include comprehensive astronomy education for grades K-12 aligned with Michigan science standards and seats 60 people.

Please complete our group reservation form to bring your group for a visit.

New list of fulldome films


Our planetarium shows

Our planetarium shows consist of three parts:

  • Interactive demonstrations
  • The current night sky
  • Fulldome film

We begin with an interactive demonstration, Learn About Size and Distance in Our Solar System.

Watch as we compare the diameters of the Earth, Moon, and Mars, and show you how to determine the distances between these celestial objects. As the lights go down, we show you how to navigate the current night sky. Learn how to identify constellations, asterisms, planets, and more!

Next, sit back and enjoy a fulldome film!

View all upcoming events


Programming for Wayne State University groups

Wayne State University registered student organizations, departments and other groups may reserve the planetarium for events or organize private planetarium shows for your group at zero or minimal cost depending on circumstances.  Please contact us for details.