Daily presentations in our Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium invite you to tour the solar system, stars, and beyond!
- Read about our shows.
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- History of the Planetarium.
- Click for common FAQs.
- Meet our planetarium presenters.
- Apps and resources.
- Solar Eclipse 2024.
What's Up Tonight?
Join a world class presenter in our cutting edge planetarium theatre for a tour of your sky tonight. During this engaging presentation you can expect to be introduced to seasonal constellations, fly to and explore visible planets, and learn about the latest discoveries from space. Better yet, you’ll walk away with an in-depth knowledge of the night sky so that you can identify the wonders of the cosmos in your own backyard. Our astronomy presenters will answer your questions and can detour through space to help you explore the universe.
Length: 25 minutes
Recommended age: 5+
Type: live presenter
The Sun: Our Living Star
The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilizations. Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined.Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format.
Length: 25 minutes
Recommended age: 5+
Type: Movie projected onto the dome
The Planetarium Director's newsletter keeps you up to date with all the latest space science news and the latest and greatest from the Planetarium! From the latest SpaceX flights and news from NASA to the Skywatch Almanac produced right here in St. Johnsbury, you'll be sure to have something to share at the dinner table. Subscribe below and keep up to date with the cosmos.
Reservations can be made in advance at 802-748-2372. We recommend reservations for parties of ten or more. Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to claim reserved tickets. Shows are subject to change. .Shows are subject to change. Refresh this page for the latest information.
The planetarium at the Fairbanks Museum was installed in 1961, under the leadership of Fred Mold, who was director of the Museum (and assisted by Franklin's Guides). 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 trip through the cosmos 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, like the famous Ultra Deep Field, invite imaginative journeys through the cosmos 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.
How many people can fit in the planetarium?
The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium seats 35 people at maximum capacity.
Is the planetarium accessible to everyone?
Yes! Our Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium is ADA compliant and accessible to all. Seats in the planetarium can be moved to accommodate wheelchairs.
How old should children be to enjoy a planetarium show?
Every planetarium show has a recommended age. Please see show descriptions for more detail. Children under 4 generally do not enjoy the dark room and nature of the presentation. Children 5+ can fully appreciate the experience and pay full price for planetarium admission. Stories from Space is a special. short presentation in our planetarium designed for younger children.
What is the projection system?
The Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium utilizes a Digitarium Kappa system which projects a fisheye image on our 20' dome. Utilizing the latest in space science data simulations, this digital system provides views into the cosmos not possible using a conventional planetarium "star ball." Circular seating means every seat is the best in the house. In 2012 it replaced the Spitz Model-A dodechahedron that was installed in 1961 which was famous for its unconventional shape recommended by Albert Einstein.
Can I call to make reservations?
Reservations can be made in advance at 802-748-2372. We recommend reservations to parties of 10 or more. Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance to claim reserved tickets. Shows are subject to change. For the most up-to-the-minute information, please visit our events calendar.
What if I made reservations, and cannot arrive by the start of the show?
Due to the nature of a planetarium show, we cannot admit latecommers. Reserved tickets that have not been claimed will be released for general sale 10 minutes before showtime. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes in advance to claim your tickets.
May I inquire about a special presentation for my event, organization or school?
Absolutely! We have offered a variety of themed presentations for weddings, birthday parties, conferences, field trips, after schools, citizen groups, and more. For teachers, read about our list of astronomy classes here.