Observe the beauty and science of the night sky in Lexington’s only planetarium.
The William Stamps Farish Fund planetarium features 20+ show titles that cover topics from the basics of astronomy and the history of space exploration, to stories of dinosaurs and the beautiful network of life on Earth. The planetarium seats up to 60 people under a 9 meter dome.
The Farish Planetarium is open every Friday with several show series including Science Friday and Farish After Dark. Science Friday is a series of shows featuring a new title every week for a general audience, and Farish After Dark is a series of shows covering more advanced topics for curious teens and adults. Every third Friday is Student Night, where students of all ages will receive a small gift after the show.
The Farish Planetarium offers multiple shows on Fayette County Public School ‘No School Days’ and every fourth Saturday during Discovery Saturday. The Farish Planetarium is also open for special show times on select Discovery Nights and by reservation for field trip groups, birthday parties, and special events.
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.
Download a FREE Planetarium Educators Guide for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in the night sky and outer space.
Farish Planetarium Show Catalog
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 minutes | Age Range: Pre-K – 2nd Grade | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 2nd – 5th Grade | Preview Trailer
Imagine Earth were a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most about the planet, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren?
Set on the surface of the Moon in the year 2081, a grandfather and granddaughter watch a solar eclipse from scenic cliffs overlooking their moon colony. Conversation leads to contrasts between the moon, the only home the granddaughter knows, and the Earth, where the grandfather has spent most of his life. As they watch the Moon’s shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. Each experience begins with a telescope view of the dynamic Earth in stark contrast with the unchanging lunar landscape.
Earth’s Wild Ride is like many tales shared by grandparents over the centuries, except “the old country” is really another planet, always visible from the moon base, but totally unlike the granddaughter’s world. While learning about eclipses, the ice age, Earth’s water cycle and differences between the Earth and Moon, the audience is taken on a roller-coaster-like ride through canyons of raging rivers and hot flowing lava. Adventure and appreciation for home fill this 20-minute journey back to the Earth.
Runtime: 22 minutes | Age Range: 2nd – 5th Grade
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 minutes | Age Range: 3rd – 6th Grade | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 3rd – 5th Grade | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 3rd – 6th | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 4th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 5th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Two Small Pieces of Glass – The Amazing Telescope 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: 25 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
There are places where the night sky has no constellations.
No Orion, no Big Dipper, nothing but a few lonely, far away stars and a few faint, ghostly patches of light. Most stars lie within the crowded boundaries of galaxies, travelling with their brothers and sisters in a vast galactic family. But some find themselves on their own, deep within voids between the galaxies. These are the cosmic castaways.
Cosmic Castaways is an original production of the Ward Beecher Planetarium and is based on the research of YSU’s resident astrophysicists Dr. John Feldmeier and Dr. Patrick Durrell.
Runtime: 20 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
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 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away.
Runtime: 20 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
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: 15 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th | 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 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade
For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center 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.
Runtime: 30 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th | Preview Trailer
In a feast of colours and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the sun, the moon and Venus.
Runtime: 20 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th | Preview Trailer
What do you associate with Halloween? Trick-or-Treating, costumes… astronomy? After all, Halloween is an astronomical holiday! Learn the history of Halloween and how it fits into the seasons as a “cross-quarter day” during this new production. We will also explore the night sky and learn what planets, constellations, and stars will be out on your Halloween evening.
Runtime: 24 minutes | Age Range: 6th -12th
Take a tour of our solar system and learn incredible facts about our closest neighbors in space! See the five planets visible to the naked eye in incredible detail and learn how you can identify these shining objects in the night sky.
Runtime: 38 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade
When we gaze up at the night sky, we are looking at millions of stars just like our sun. Planets like our own Earth orbit these stars, raising the age-old question: does alien life exist? Visitors journey through our solar system to see what it takes for life to develop, starting with life on Earth and moving on to alien planets that orbit distant stars in our galaxy. How could alien life evolve on distant moons or planets, and how can we detect it?
Runtime: 52 minutes | Age Range: 6th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
A photon’s journey across space, time, and the mind. Seeing! is based on the PBS documentary “Sight–The Story of Vision” weaving a tale of the journey of humanity that discovered the science, technology, and medicine that allows us to understand how sight works, cure diseases of the eye, and correct vision.
Runtime: 22 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Explore the world of High Energy Astrophysics in Hot and Energetic Universe, which plays a key role in understanding our reality. This niche field probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. High energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun.
Runtime: 29 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Cosmic Origins: Spectrograph covers the basics of spectroscopy at a high level, and touches on the processing of galactic and extragalactic gas. Other topics include the use of quasars as background light sources, cosmic evolution, and the development of large scale structure.
Runtime: 28 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Over 4,000 planets have been discovered outside of our solar system, with many more candidates waiting to be confirmed. How do we see planets that orbit stars far away in space? Astronomers capture detailed images and amazing information about these exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system.
Runtime: 29 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th Grade
The study of our universe is as old as time, yet our understanding of the origins and nature of the universe is less than 100 years old.
Cosmology, written and produced by high school and college students is an overview of the science of cosmology. From our earliest theories about the size of the universe to the big bang theory, this show details how our understanding has evolved over time.
Runtime: 28 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th
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 minutes | Age Range: 8th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
What keeps Galaxies together? What are the building blocks of the Universe? What makes the Universe look the way it looks today? Researchers all around the world try to answer these questions. We know today that approximately a quarter of the Universe is filled with a mysterious glue: Dark Matter. We know that it is out there. But we have no idea what it is made out of.
Dark Matter Mystery takes you on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. You will see why we know that Dark Matter exists, and how this search is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for Dark Matter with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the Dark Matter Mystery?
Runtime: 38 minutes | Age Range: 9th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
Phantom of the Universe is a new planetarium show that showcases an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. The show reveals 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.
Runtime: 27 minutes | Age Range: 9th – 12th Grade | Preview Trailer
DARK explains and explores the nature of dark matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe.
The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years – the unimaginable depths of deep time, of which a human life is but a flickering instant. But in that instant, we can grasp its immensity and, through science, we can attempt to understand it.
DARK is presented by Dr Alan Duffy, a brilliant young astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at the University of Western Australia – who creates simulations of dark matter evolution inside supercomputers. Alan introduces us to the idea of dark matter, why astronomers think it exists, and explains why radio astronomy is so well-suited to its discovery.
Runtime: 20 minutes | Age Range: 9th – 12th Grade