Geology & Astronomy
About the Planetarium
The Department of Geology and Astronomy operates the Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Planetarium at West Chester University. The planetarium is equiped with a state-of-the-art SciDome XD Touch digital projector. The dome is a 32-foot nanoseam dome manufactured by Spitz, Inc. The planetarium is used for WCU astronomy classes, K-12 school groups, and public programs Our programs are made possible by a variety of funding sources including the WCU College of Arts and Sciences, admissions fees, and generous public donations. For information about how you can help support the Mather Planetarium please visit the WCU Foundation website.
Approximately 50 schools and other groups attend the programs each year, and annual attendance approaches 2,000. We offer weekly shows for educational groups (including pre-K) during the fall and spring semesters. For more information on School/Group Planetarium shows please visit the following site.
About the Public Programs
Our live shows are held once a month during the regular academic year. These presentations are given by a PhD astronomer and consist of an overview of what is currently visible in the night sky. In addition, each show focuses on a specific aspect of astronomy, the topic of which changes each month. The shows are appropriate for all ages however the content and duration of the show may be more appealing to older children and adults.
Twice a month astronomy themed movies are shown. These are specially formatted for the planetarium dome, providing an impressive and immersive experience. Each presentation consists of two movies, roughly 25 minutes in length each. The movies are both educational and entertaining. Parents with young children may find that these presentations are more suitable for their family than the live shows. Both movies are included with the price of admission.
Details and Tickets
All shows start at 7pm and run approximately one hour in length. Late arrivals will not be permitted to enter the planetarium. The cost of the show is $5 per person. To purchase tickets for a public show, please contact the SSI ticket office at 610-436-2266. Tickets will not be sold more than three weeks in advance of the show date. Tickets cannot be purchased at the planetarium.
The Planetarium is located in the Schmucker Science Center on the north campus of West Chester University. The main entrance to the Schmucker Science Center is on Church St. between University Ave. and Rosedale Ave. The planetarium is in the link - the one-story round portion of the building that connects the north and south (multi-story) parts of the building.
For the general public shows, visitors may park for free in the parking lot behind the Sykes Student Union building (Lot K), located on Rosedale Avenue, after 5pm. Visitors may also park in the meters along Church St. and Rosedale Ave. The meters are free after 5pm. A campus map with parking information can be found at the bottom of this page.
Dates for the remaining 2013-2014 Public Series are listed below:
March 14, 2014 - Movies "Oasis In Space" & "Astronaut"
"Oasis In Space" transports the audience on a startling and beautiful voyage through our universe, galaxy and solary system in search of liquid water - a key ingredient for life on Earth.
"The exploration of space is the greatest endeavour that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of the incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? "Astronaut" takes you from Earth into space... and beyond.
Reservations taken starting February 21 - SOLD OUT
March 28, 2014 - Movies "Oasis In Space" & "Astronaut"
Reservations taken starting March 7
April 4, 2014 - Live Show "Astronomy on the Internet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
Reservations taken starting March 14
April 11, 2014 - Movies TBD
Reservations taken starting March 21
April 25, 2014 - Movies TBD
Reservations taken starting April 4
May 2, 2014 - Live Show "Black Holes Don't Suck"
Reservations taken starting April 11
May 9, 2014 - Movies TBD
Reservations taken starting April 18
Would you like to receive information about upcoming planetarium events? Sign up to be on our mailing list (using the form below) and we'll keep you up to date on what's happening! You can also download a copy of our latest newsletter. Thank you for your interest in the Mather Planetarium!
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