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Herald Leader photo of planetarium

Observe the beauty and science of the night sky in Lexington’s only planetarium.

The William Stamps Farish Fund’s digital planetarium features 15+ show titles ranging from explorations of the night sky, basics of astronomy and the United States mission to get Back to the Moon, to stories of Dinosaurs, telescopes and how the Earth’s elements are all interconnected.

Seating up to 60 people, the William Stamps Farish Fund’s Planetarium is open for 3 showings every fourth Saturday during Discovery Saturday, for special planetarium nights on Discovery Nights and by reservation for field trip groups, birthday parties and special events. Browse the EVENT CALENDAR to see when the next showings will take place.

Teachers & Educators, call (859) 252-5222 to reserve the planetarium for your field trip group. Can’t come to us? Ask about our inflatable planetarium that can travel to your school.  All you need is an indoor area at least 21 x 21 x 11 feet. A cafeteria, gym, stage, or library could be used. We will provide an instructor and all other necessary materials. Planetarium programs are typically 45 minutes in length for groups of 30 students or less.

A 15 minute transition time is required between presentations.

To schedule a Discovery field trip or a Discovery Dome Planetarium outreach program, call Katherine Bullock, Discovery Education Director at (859) 252-5222. E-Mail Katherine at kbullock@lasclex.org

Want to learn more about the night sky?

Check the EVENT CALENDAR for upcoming astronomy classes for teens and adults.

The Living Arts & Science Center has put together an educators guide to our planetarium for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in the night sky and outer space. Download it now and get started on your discovery.

Planetarium Shows

Earth, Moon, Sun

Coyote has a razor sharp wit, but he’s a little confused about what he sees in the sky.

Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun fulldome show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles.  His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science.

Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun™ also examines how humans learn through space exploration.

Runtime: 26 min | Suitable for:  ages 5-16+ | Preview Trailer

One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure

Join Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from “Zhima Jie,” the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street. Together they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. The friends learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon.  They also journey to Zhima Jie to learn about the similarities in our view of the sky.

One World, One Sky is a brilliant spectacle of light and color as the furry friends watch the stars twinkle over Sesame Street. Children attending the show can interact as they watch, drawing constellations and counting the time it takes the sun to set. The show aims to nurture a child’s natural sense of wonder about the night sky while forging cross-cultural connections, and bridging kids across nations through a common bond in learning about the sky together.

Runtime: 27 min | Suitable for: ages 2-6 |  Preview Trailer

Habitat Earth:  Living in a Connected World

Delve into a fulldome exploration of what it means to live in today’s connected world, exploring a variety of habitats, types of life, and relationships.

Living networks connect and support life forms large and small — from colonies of tiny microbes and populations of massive whales to ever-expanding human societies.

Through stunning visualizations of the natural world, dive below the ocean’s surface to explore the dynamic relationships found in kelp forest ecosystems, travel beneath the forest floor to see how Earth’s tallest trees rely on tiny fungi to survive, and journey to new heights to witness the intricate intersection between human and ecological networks.

The show details the ways humans fit into this ever-evolving story of connection. Along the way, audiences will learn more about what we can do to ensure that our cohabitation with the natural world leaves a healthy, sustainable planet for generations to come.

Runtime: 25 min | Suitable for: general audiences | Preview Trailer

Back to the Moon for Good

Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the Moon’s resources and discover what humanity’s future on the Moon might hold. Narrated by Tim Allen, Back To The Moon For Good presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge.

Runtime: 25 min | Suitable for: ages 10-adult | Preview Trailer

Ice Worlds

Ice Worlds is a thrilling tour through space and time showcasing some of the most beautiful and chilly regions of the Solar System, including our home planet Earth.  Audiences will explore the critical relationships between ice and life – “a tale of friend and foe, enabling, challenging, supporting, and adapting” – that has developed over millions of years.

Runtime: 28 min | Suitable for:  ages 10-adult | Preview Trailer

Dinosaur Prophecy

Explore how dinosaurs lived and died as you embark on an exciting voyage back in time. Everyone knows the tale of the sudden and dramatic death of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But did you know that numerous species of dinosaurs lived, and disappeared, long before the cataclysmic disaster at the end of the Cretaceous period? Journey with us to four different dinosaur digs around the world as we explore how these amazing creatures died… and lived.

Viewers will discover the lives of multiple species of dinosaurs, from the Coelophysis of 205 million years ago to the Allosaurus and Diplodocus of the mid-Jurassic period. Viewers will also see the feathered Sinornithosaurus of China and the T. rex and Triceratops that survived and thrived until the final extinction of all dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Runtime: 22 min | Suitable for: ages 7-13 | Preview Trailer

Two Small Pieces of Glass:  The Amazing Telescope

“Two Small Pieces of Glass – The Amazing Telescope” show follows two students as they interact with a female astronomer at a local star party. Along the way, the students learn the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. Aiming to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages, the show explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.

Runtime: 22 min | Suitable for: ages 8-15+ | Preview Trailer

 

IBEX:  Search for the Edge of the Solar System

Join scientists who are investigating the boundary between our Solar System and the rest of our galaxy in IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System.  Gain an appreciation for the challenges of space science and a desire to learn more about science research, IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System follows the creation of NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Get an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our Solar System’s boundary.  Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, audiences will hear from the scientists and engineers that developed the IBEX mission and created the spacecraft, and get the latest updates on the mission’s discoveries.

Runtime: 27 min | Suitable for:  ages 10-adult | Preview Trailer

The Search for Life in the Universe

In recent years with the launch of the Kepler Space Telescope and improvement in planet detection techniques there has been an explosion in the number of planets discovered outside our solar system. For the first time ever we are able to explore questions such as “are there any habitable planets out there?”, and “where should we look for life?”. This planetarium show will explain where the best chances currently lie for finding life elsewhere in the universe and highlight some of the noteworthy exoplanets discovered to date.

Runtime: 22 min | Suitable for:  ages 10-adult | Preview Trailer

Flight Adventure

In this multi-media planetarium show about the science of aeronautics, you will discover the science of flight through the eyes of a young girl and her grandfather as they explore how birds, kites, planes, and models fly and imagine where flight might take us. Learn about famous inventors and aviators of the past and the pioneers who first revealed the 4 forces of flight and how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators—like you!

Runtime: 25 min | Suitable for: ages 8 – adult | Preview Trailer

From Earth to the Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe 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 v2.

Directed by the young Greek filmmaker Theofanis N. Matsopoulos, and featuring a sweeping soundtrack from Norwegian composer Johan B. Monell, viewers can revel in the splendour of the various worlds in the Solar System and the ferocity of the scorching Sun. From Earth to the Universe then leaves our home to take the audience out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

Runtime: 31 min | Suitable for: ages 10-adult | Preview Trailer

Seasonal Stargazing

Each of the four Seasonal Stargazing shows (spring, summer, autumn, winter) highlights the most prominent and easy-to-find stars and constellations of the season. Audience members see and hear star names and constellations, and learn to star-hop for popular deep-sky objects.

Runtime: 6 min | Suitable for: ages 7-adult | Preview Trailer

New Horizons for a Little Planet

“New Horizons for a Little Planet” is a lighthearted introduction to NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. Launched in 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft is scheduled to fly by Pluto and its moons in July of 2015. The purpose of the program is to introduce planetarium visitors to the mission prior to its arrival at Pluto.

After it encounters Pluto, New Horizons will continue on through the Kuiper Belt and the mission will likely be extended. A smaller, more primitive Kuiper Belt Object will then be targeted for a rendezvous in 2018 or 2019. These encounters promise us unprecedented close up views of these distant worlds and the information gathered by New Horizons will provide valuable insight into the formation of our solar system and its planets.

Runtime: 6 min | Suitable for: all ages | Flat Screen Version

Losing the Dark

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

Losing the Dark is a “public service announcement” planetarium show, a collaboration of Loch Ness Productions and the International Dark-Sky Association. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it.

Runtime: 6 min | Suitable for: ages 10-adult | Flat Screen Version

The H2O Cycle

Evaporation, condensation, precipitation, advection, humidity, transpiration, and even evapotranspiration are introduced and taught in this video. We use live action FullDome videography to immerse the audience in the learning experience. This education module ends with a review set to a rap – the “Water Cycle Rap”. Careful, you may find yourself humming the catchy tune well after you are back from theLASC!

Runtime: 14 min | Suitable for: all ages | Preview Trailer

Get an up close and personal view of Saturn, the jewel of our solar system! Unlike previous spacecraft’s visits to Saturn, the Cassini mission is orbiting around the giant planet and repeatedly flying past Saturn’s moons and ring system. We will share new discoveries about Saturn itself, as well as its many moons and icy rings. Experience our Solar System’s ring world up close like never before as Cassini continues giving us a greater knowledge of this remarkable planet and the mysteries it holds.

Runtime: 25 min | Suitable for: ages 11 – adult | Flat Screen Version

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