Passumpsic Bank Portable Planetarium
Sail around the night sky, learn about the mythology of constellations, and fly with your group to Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, or the Sun and back all from the comfort of your own institution. Our portable dome has a diameter of 16 feet and can seat up to 25 adults or 30 young children.
Fairbanks Museum educators will give a live, engaging look at the sky, with multiple offerings that last 45-60 minutes. For younger ages (Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, and First Grade) we also offer shorter 30 minute shows. Find our portable planetarium classes below.
Register for a visit by our Passumpsic Bank Mobile Planetarium starting for this December here.
Now accepting bookings for Winter 2020 only!
Site Requirements for a Visit
- Quiet, indoor room.
- Clean, swept floor.
- Minimum floor space: 18 feet by 18 feet.
- Minimum ceiling height: 13 feet with no obstructions (light fixtures, etc.).
- 2 grounded 120-volt standard electrical outlets.
- Air conditioning (required May-September).
- Adjustable lighting (when available).
- For multi-day visits, the mobile planetarium must remain in the locked facility.
For all schools, libraries, and other organizations the flat rate for the portable planetarium will be $200. We discount when there are mutiple shows in one day at the same location. For two shows, we charge $350 and, for three shows, $450.
For organizations located more than 25 miles from the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, we will also require the United States government mileage rate of $0.58 per mile to help pay for transportation costs to your site.
FREE Classes and Shows In Vermont's Northeast Kingdom
Is your school, library, summer camp or organization located in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom? Thanks to generous funding from The Vermont Community Foundation, we are proud to offer a portable planetarium visit to you FREE! Starting with those who book after Saturday, November 16, we will accept up to 20 reservations in the Northeast Kingdom in 2019-2020. Each visit will be limited to a maximum of four one-hour shows or eight 30-minute shows. Contact Leila Nordmann to make a reservation in the Northeast Kingdom.
- What’s Up, Tonight's Skies: A look at the skies as they appear tonight, featuring constellations, planets and the Moon.
- Myths and Legends: The stars and constellations have been imagined by many people across the globe, often referring to their culture, as well as how the sky appears to move and change through the year. This show features classic Greco-Roman myths, with a few other cultures as well.
- Greek Mythology of the Night Sky: For students who have been studying Greek myths and legends, the museum educator begins with student knowledge, asking them to retell the stories. The characters in those stories and the storylines are illustrated through star patterns. Students learn that there are three types of Greek myths related to the night skies: explanation myths, myths inspired by the constellations, and myths that use constellations to retell an established story.
- Bang! Zoom! To the Moon!: How does the moon move, and why does it change appearance? The moon is the most easily recognized object in the night sky, as well as the most misunderstood. It changes shape, location and timing, creates eclipses, and is the only other planetary object humans have landed on and explored. Following the planetarium experience, students use clay to makes a scale model of the relative size of sun to moon, and explore how the moon moves, independent of the earth, and vice versa. The session closes with a viewing of actual moon landings.
2019-2020 Current Mobile Planetarium Sites and Dates
Now accepting bookings for Summer 2020 only!
- 7/24/2020 & 7/25/2020 Multiple Shows at Heritage Festival and Homecoming Days in Barre, VT
- 9/18/2020 at 5:00 PM, 5:30 PM, 6:00 PM, and 6:30 PM at Waterford Elementary School in Waterford, VT
This portable planetarium comes to you with support from the Passumpsic Bank Peter F. Crosby Fund, the Vermont Community Foundation, the Kingdom Trails Association Mini Grant Program, and the US Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.