Daily presentations in our Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium invite you to tour the solar system, stars, and beyond! At the only public planetarium in Vermont, we offer 30 minute fulldome programs and presentations for $5 dollars per person (6+ recommended). If you have a question for us about showtimes or astronomy/natural history, you can tweet at us by clicking the blue bubble below; we'll respond within a few minutes.
- For showtimes, click here.
- Read about our shows.
- Learn the history of the Planetarium & Vinton Gallery.
- Click for common FAQs.
- Meet our planetarium presenters.
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- Solar Eclipse 2024
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Shows are subject to change. Refresh this page for the latest information.
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.
General length: 30 minutes
Recommended age 10+
Our night sky changes from night to night, revealing new mysteries with every rotation of the Earth. From the earliest humans projecting the stories of their people into the sky to modern day robotic explorers ventuirng to far away worlds, we've looked at the night sky and wondered. During this 25 minute live presentaiton in our fulldome theatre, you can expect to be introduced to constellations, planets, moons, and the latest discoveries from space, all projected in crystal clear resolution featuring cutting edge graphics and sound. Your guide will be one of our famous presenters, Bobby Farlice-Rubio, Oliver Ames, Mark Breen, or Steve Maleski. Join us for, What's Up?! Your Sky, Tonight.
General length: 25 minutes
Recommended age 6+
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 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, 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 45 people at maximum capacity.
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.