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Planetarium Presentations

 

Lyman Spitzer Jr. PlanetariumDaily presentations in our Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium invite you to tour the cosmos. Choose from an hour-long feature or a 20- to 30-minute short presentation.

  • "My Sky" 20-minute presentation introduces the stars and planets to children ages 3 - 8 ($3/person)
  • "Night Sky" 30-minute tour of the stars, planets and constellations currently visible ($3/person)
  • "Tour the Cosmos" 50-minute presentation for general audiences recommended for children older than 6 ($5/person)

Visit our events calendar for planetarium presentation times.

Summer Show Descriptions:

  • Pluto ... at Last

After its discovery 85 years ago, and going through changes from a planet to a dwarf planet, Pluto finally arrives center stage.  The New Horizon’s spacecraft completes its nine year journey to the mysterious, dark, icy world this July, racing through Pluto and its moons July 14th.  In additional to the latest images, explore what we know about Pluto and other icy bodies, find out why it makes sense to classify Pluto as a dwarf planet.

  • It Came From Above

Most of the Mass Extinctions endured by life on Earth have their origins in outer space. Would you like to know the many ways in which the Cosmos could destroy us?  Come learn about the meteors, comets, Gamma Ray Bursts, rogue planets, and even Red Giants that plot our destruction even now…. Can we do something about them? Is there hope for our planet, or are we all doomed?!

  • Journey to the Asteroid Belt

The New Horizons spacecraft will zip by Pluto on July 15th and take the first close-up images of that distant body ever seen by human beings. But it isn't the only dwarf planet being visited this year.  The Dawn spacecraft, which visited Vesta in 2011, has arrived at Ceres and is currently exploring that diminutive world tucked amid the clutter of the asteroid belt. We'll take a brief tour of the Dawn mission thus far and along the way give a little historical context for flavor.

  • Tonight’s Skies

Learn about what stars and planets will be visible tonight.  The presentation will highlight current astronomical events.  Some shows will focus on celestial navigation!

  • Special Saturday Morning Show for Preschoolers (through Aug 22nd)

Get interest brewing with this 5-10 min show appropriate for preschoolers (5 and under).  Open to all and free!

Seating is limited; please call ahead to reserve your place. Groups of 10 or more must confirm tickets in advance.

Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to claim any reserved tickets.

The planetarium at the Fairbanks Museum was installed in 1961, under the leadership of Fred Mold, who was director of the Museum. It is the only public planetarium in the state of Vermont. In 2012, a new digital projection system was installed, and the planetarium was reopened as the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, honoring the astrophysicist who was the driving force behind the development of the Hubble Space Telescope. Lyman Spitzer Jr. was a member of the Canaday family, and this dimension to exploring our universe at the Fairbanks Museum was made possible through a grant from The Canaday Family Charitable Trust.

Visitors to the planetarium will get ready for their tour of the galaxy in the Vinton Space Science Gallery, supported by a generous gift from St. Johnsbury residents Ruth and Drury Vinton. In this gallery, photographs taken by the Hubble Space Telescope invite imaginary journeys through our universe and beyond.

The Vinton Gallery also holds a meteorite made of iron and nickel and weighing 17.3 pounds. This meteorite is believed to have fallen 4000 to 5000 years ago in northern Argentina, part of the largest meteorite known to have crashed to Earth.