Located in the Museum of Natural History, the planetarium is a dome theater with a Zeiss projector that casts images of stars, planets and constellations to simulate the night sky. Public planetarium shows are offered on weekends; during RI school vacation weeks; and daily in July and August. Planetarium Admission (includes museum admission) is $3 per person. Children must be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium. During the December school vacation, along with our regular weekend schedule, there will be planetarium shows 2pm on Thursday, December 26; Friday, December 27; and Monday, December 30. Museum and Planetarium will be closed on December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1.
Planetarium Schedule and Information
- Planetarium shows are on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. During July and August shows are daily at 2pm.
- Please visit our Calendar of Events for the planetarium show schedule. Show offerings and schedule are subject to change.
- Show lasts approximately 30 minutes. The planetarium is only open during showtime.
- Early arrival is suggested as tickets are sold first-come, first-served.
- Ticketholders are not permitted to enter the planetarium once the show has begun.
- Children must be age 4 and older to enter the planetarium.
- Groups larger than 15 must book a private planetarium show. Private planetarium show cost is $125.00 up to 25 people, additional guests $5.00 per person, includes museum admission. Please call the Museum’s Education Department at 401.680.7223 for more information.
Take a thrilling trip through space and time–well beyond the calm face of the night sky–to explore cosmic collisions, hypersonic impacts that drive the dynamic and continuing evolution of the universe. This show explores the full range of space collisions, past, present, and future. Show produced by the American Museum of Natural History. (General Audience)
Great Space Adventure
If you thought space exploration was just for astronauts, think again! Discover what you can see from right here on ‘Spaceship Earth’ as we whiz through the solar system at breakneck speed! Spectacular video imagery shows some of the most fantastic sights in our solar system, from volcanoes on Mars to the rings of Saturn. Explore our solar system, and discover what you can see with your own two eyes from right here in your backyard. (Family audience)
Journey to the Stars
Featuring images from telescopes on the ground and in space and stunning visualizations of physics-based simulations, this show launches visitors through space and time to experience the life and death of the stars in our night sky, including our own nurturing Sun. Tour familiar stellar formations, explore celestial mysteries and discover the fascinating, unfolding story that connects us all to the stars. (General Audience)
Our Place in Space
There’s no place like home! Begin your journey from right here on Earth as we venture from the museum for a whirlwind trip through the solar system. Take an unforgettable tour through our cosmic neighborhood as you explore the craters of Mercury, stormy Neptune and discover why Earth is so unique. The adventure does not end there as we explore nebulae and star clusters of our Milky Way Galaxy. (General Audience)
Explore our night sky. Take a tour of the skies and discover the constellations, planets, nebulae and other stunning night sky objects that can be seen in the night sky. Video imagery will bring viewers up close to black holes, star-forming nebulae and more, showing discoveries in astrophysics while instilling a sense of wonder about our universe. (General Audience)
Fulldome Planetarium Shows
What does it take to become an astronaut? This planetarium show takes you from Earth into space … and beyond! The program is followed by a brief tour of the night sky, using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (Family audience)
Cosmic Origins Spectograph
Join us in the exploration of the hidden universe as we decode the secrets to the origins of the cosmos. (General audience)
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. Learn about the history and future plans of flight and how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators – like YOU! The program is followed by a brief tour of the night sky using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (General audience)
From Earth to the Universe
Learn about the journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, in this full dome planetarium show. Revel in the splendor of the worlds of the solar system and our Sun. From Earth to the Universe takes you to the colorful birthplaces of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way Galaxy to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Please note: This full dome planetarium show DOES NOT include a brief tour of the night sky, using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (General audience)
Max Goes to the Moon
Ever wonder what it’s like to go to the Moon? This new show, based on the children’s book, “Max Goes to the Moon” by Dr. Jeffrey Bennett, takes us on such an adventure. Please note: This fulldome planetarium show DOES NOT include a brief tour of the night sky using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (Family audience)
NASA’s Journey to Mars
NASA wants you to be part of the Journey to Mars. Join us on a monumental journey of a lifetime to extend the frontiers of human exploration, gaze across alien landscapes and see our Sunrise over new horizons. Join us for NASA’s JOURNEY TO MARS then return to Earth to gaze into the night sky to see what is visible throughout the year. The program is followed by a brief tour of the night sky using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (General audience)
Solar System Oasis
Take a voyage through our Solar System in search of water, the key ingredient to life on Earth. The program is followed by a brief tour of the night sky using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (General audience)
Two Small Pieces of Glass
From the moons of Jupiter to the rings of Saturn and the structure of galaxies, this show explores how telescopes have helped us understand our place in space and how they continue to expand our understanding of the cosmos. The program is followed by a brief tour of the night sky using the planetarium’s Zeiss star projector. (General audience)
The Cormack Planetarium
In 1993, the Cormack Planetarium completed its first major renovation since its construction in 1953. The Planetarium features a Zeiss star projector and an enlarged domed ceiling on which the stars are projected. In 2008, the planetarium upgraded its multi-media capabilities. In 2012, the planetarium received a full dome projection system.
Scope of Planetarium Renovations
The renovations to the Planetarium involved rebuilding the entire facility.
Structural steel girders in the attic above the planetarium were moved to accommodate the new, larger dome. The dome measures 14′ high and 28′ in diameter. The walls of the room were reconfigured and a dramatic new entrance was added.
The heart of the Planetarium is a Zeiss star projector. This projector is able to show the starry sky and the motions of the planets in unprecedented detail. The projector is fully computer controlled so that it may precisely reproduce the motions seen in the sky. In 2009 the planetarium received an upgrade to its sound system and installed an LCD video projection system.
In 2012 a new fulldome video system was installed with special showings offered throughout the year.Museum Homepage