Public Planetarium Shows

 

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

Live Shows:

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.

Pre-recorded Shows:

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.

Our Location

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:

April 11, 2014 - Night Sky Tour and "Astronaut"

The presentation includes a 30-minute overview of what's visible in the current night sky followed by a 30-minute movie.

Reservations taken starting March 21 - SOLD OUT

April 25, 2014 - Night Sky Tour and "Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity"

The presentation includes a 30-minute overview of what's visible in the current night sky followed by a 30-minute movie.

Reservations taken starting April 4. - SOLD OUT

May 2, 2014 - Live Show "Black Holes Don't Suck"

The presentation is an hour-long overview of what's visible in the current night sky with a special focus on black holes.


Reservations taken starting April 11. - SOLD OUT

May 9, 2014 - Night Sky Tour and "Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity"

The presentation includes a 30-minute overview of what's visible in the current night sky followed by a 30-minute movie.

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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WCU Planetarium News