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Lyman Spitzer Jr Planetarium

Join us for a tour of the cosmos on our outdoor Astronomy Deck while the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium is temporarily closed.

Check times for StarSpace Astronomy Tours.

Join us in our outdoor Astronomy Deck for a 1/2 hour tour of the cosmos.

You'll be guided by our astronomy experts through stars, planets, constellations and the latest images from deep space. We've taken our planetarium experience to a new place for your health and safety. 

Public Astronomy Schedule

We recommend reservations for parties of ten or more. Reserve your tickets online or call 802-748-2372.

Reserved tickets will be held for you until 15 minutes before the show begins; any unclaimed tickets will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Shows are subject to change, so please refresh this page for the latest information.

Live Shows

What's Up, Tonight's Skies

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

Full Dome Movies

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

Two Small Pieces of Glass

While attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a local female astronomer enlightens them on the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. The students see how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe. While looking through the astronomer's telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and spiral structure of galaxies. During their conversation with the astronomer, they also learn about the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble and many others. A full dome video show sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Produced by the Imiloa Astronomy Center; the Carnegie Science Center and Interstellar Studios.

  • Length: 23 minutes
  • Recommended Age: 5+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

Out There

For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered. For more information: https://www.fddb.org/fulldome-shows/out-there-the-quest-for-extrasolar-worlds/

  • General length: 30 minutes
  • Recommended age: 6+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

Rosetta: A Lifetime Discovery

Twelve years ago, in 2004, the Rosetta spacecraft was launched from the Kourou cosmodrome, whose mission included rendezvous with the 67R Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet and a controlled landing with the downlink module Philae. Planting an artificial device on the nucleus of a comet is an extremely complex and ambitious task that the European Space Agency had set out to complete and successfully accomplished. The mission of Rosetta is long, but in this 25 minute planetarium show you’ll discover what it might have been like to ride along with Philae as it descended to the comet surface. Join the comet discoverer Klim Churyumov in the story about the origins of the Solar System and life on Earth. Meet the challenges of a 10 year long mission with Rosetta spacecraft and the “Philae” lander. Become the first one to find oneself on the comet surface!

  • Length: 26 minutes
  • Recommended Age: 5+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

Phantom of the Universe

Phantom of the Universe is a new planetarium show that will showcase an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. The show will reveal the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter." It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter. To learn more about this show, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton, click here.

  • Length: 25 minutes
  • Recommended Age: 5+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

From Earth to the Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has inspired awe and been the subject of campfire stories, and ancient myths for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

  • Length: 25 minutes
  • Recommended Age: 5+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

Seeing! A Photon's Journey Across Space: Time and Mind

Follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before travelling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone's retina. This fulldome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain. The show is narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson. ​

  • Length: 27 minutes
  • Recommended Age: 5+
  • Type: Movie projected onto the dome

About the Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium

The planetarium was built and opened in 1961 under the leadership of Director Fred Mold. It remains 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 in honor of 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 renvoation 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.

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