10am—5pm Tuesday—Saturday | Noon—5pm Sunday | Closed Monday (except Holidays) | Masks must be worn indoors when COVID-19 Community Levels are high. Please use the widget below to see the current Manatee County Community Level before visiting

Planetarium Show Descriptions

Planetarium Show Descriptions

Planetarium Show Times & Descriptions

The Planetarium features presentations that make the most of our new, state-of-the-art Planetarium software and projection system. Please note that show times are subject to change without notice.

Show Times

11:15am — Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

12:15pm — Dark Universe (30 minutes)

1:30pm — Firefall (30 minutes)

2:45pm — Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

4:00pm — Dark Universe (30 minutes)

11:15 – Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

12:15pm — This Month’s Skies – LIVE! (40 minutes)

1:30pm — Dark Universe (30 minutes)

2:45pm — Firefall (30 minutes)

4:00pm — Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

12:30pm — Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

1:15pm — This Month’s Skies – LIVE! (40 minutes)

2:30pm — Dark Universe (30 minutes)

3:15pm – Firefall (30 minutes)

4:00pm — Passport to the Universe (20 minutes)

Show Descriptions

Passport to the Universe

What is our place in the cosmos? In the American Museum of Natural History’s iconic space show Passport to the Universe, this question is answered as visitors travel through the observable universe to explore our “cosmic address.” In an unforgettable experience, cutting-edge science creates images of unprecedented realism and accuracy as viewers begin to understand the true enormity of the cosmos. A captivating explanation of fundamental cosmology, Passport to the Universe is always relevant, always educationally important, always illuminating.

Since its premiere at the Hayden Planetarium in New York, the American Museum of Natural History’s inaugural space show Passport to the Universe has been experienced by millions of people around the world—but not like this. Updated in December 2017, this renowned space show has been fully modernized for today’s audience featuring cutting-edge visualizations of the latest scientific data, including updated surface maps and new exploratory space missions. (20 minutes)

Narrated by Tom Hanks.

Passport to the Universe was developed by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org) in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Major support for new version provided by California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.

Dark Universe

Featuring exquisite renderings of enigmatic cosmic phenomena, seminal scientific instruments, and spectacular scenes in deep space, Dark Universe celebrates the pivotal discoveries that have led us to greater knowledge of the structure and history of the universe and our place in it-and to new frontiers for exploration. Narrated by astrophysicist and prolific science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, this immersive program is a spectacular way to show off what our dome can do.  In stunningly detailed scenes based on authentic scientific data-including a NASA probe’s breathtaking plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and novel visualizations of unobservable dark matter – Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery and reveals the mysteries that have been brought to light so far. (25 minutes)

Dark Universe was developed by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org) in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and GOTO INC, Tokyo, Japan.

This Month’s Skies Live!

Take a magical guided tour of our Night Skies in our all-digital Planetarium dome — the only one of its kind on Florida’s Gulf Coast — to show you what our skies look like tonight, tomorrow night or any night past or present over thousands of years. Constellations, asterisms and beautiful images of galaxies, nebulae and star clusters fill the sky revealing the nature of our larger cosmos. Our system uses Digistar 5 technology to show you not only the night sky but where in space you are within our Milky Way galaxy. Dwarf planets, the Kuiper Belt, the Oort cloud and more become not just places to point to in the sky, but places that you can fly to and see. We don’t just show you the rings of Saturn, we take you right into them! (40 minutes)

Firefall

Throughout Earth’s violent history, impacts from comets and asteroids have mercilessly shaped its surface. The ancient barrage continues today; from harmless meteors – those brilliant streaks in the night sky, to mountain-sized boulders wandering perilously close to Earth. Terrifying and majestic, these invaders from space are capable of utter destruction yet they have delivered life-giving water and most of the organic materials necessary for life. Life on Earth owes its very existence to these denizens of the solar system, yet it could all be wiped out in an instant. This ceaseless firefall is our only tangible connection to the universe beyond and is an ever-present reminder of our own humble beginnings in the hostile environment of space. (30 minutes)