PUBLIC PROGRAMS AT THE FRAMINGHAM STATE UNIVERSITY PLANETARIUM
Learning is universal at the FSU Planetarium. Now, three new series of events offer something for everyone. Programs will take place on the 3rd Friday of each month unless noted otherwise. The event series will alternate from month to month.
Space is limited in our planetarium. We strongly recommend guests pre-register for events. Please explore the schedule below to find the links to pre-register for events. Pre-registration will be available 2 weeks before each event.
FSU students: you are welcome at any of our public events, but we also have events just for you! Click here for more details.
The Stellar Nursery will spark the imaginations of children aged 5 years and younger, along with their caregivers, with science-related programs specially designed for our youngest learners.
Family Night at the FSU Planetarium will give families with children ages 6 and up an opportunity to discover the marvelous diversity of our universe, together.
Late Nite Skies will challenge adults and teens ages 14 and older to explore the most exciting science and technology concepts of our time.
The Stellar Nursery
February 16, 2018 6:00pm
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
Pre-Schoolers, this one’s for you! First, we’ll host a read-aloud from the classic children’s book Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle. In this charming story of family togetherness, a father goes about the seemingly impossible task of getting the Moon for his daughter. Along the way, the two spend precious quality time together and learn a little bit about the world around them. After the reading, our young guests will get a chance to participate in a short planetarium program that’s just right for them. We’ll be exploring – what else? – the Moon!
Fulldome Film: no • Live Planetarium Content: yes • Guest Speaker: no
September 15, 2017 5:30pm & 6:30pm
Cassini’s Grand Finale
On September 15, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will plunge into Saturn, ending its mission of exploration that began almost 20 years ago. Cassini was the first spacecraft in history to enter the orbit of Saturn and has spent the last 13 years studying the giant planet and its unique system of rings and moons. Join planetarium educator Mary MacDonald and NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador Piyush Khopkar as we say farewell to this remarkably successful mission and reflect on its many years of discovery. In this live, collaborative presentation, we will locate Saturn in our night sky, explore the techical innovations of the Cassini spacecraft, and of course, observe the Ring World as Cassini saw it, up-close and personal. Piyush will have all the information and resources you need if you want to learn more about Cassini and the many other missions following in its footsteps.
Fulldome Film: no • Live Planetarium Content: yes • Guest Speaker: yes
October 20, 2017 5:30pm & 6:30pm
The Night Sky: Yours to Discover
The night sky has been a source of wonder and inspiration throughout human history. The development of the telescope, over 400 years ago, allowed us to peer deeper into the heavens than ever before. Since then, telescopes have undergone tremendous technological advances, but one thing hasn’t changed: the simple joy of looking up at the night sky, surrounded by family and friends. This month, the FSU planetarium will get you started on your personal journey of discovery. First we’ll watch the fulldome film Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope. This family-friendly film will take you on journey through history from the first telescopes, made of just “two small pieces of glass,” to the technological marvels used by scientists today. Next, we’ll take a look at what’s visible in our night sky tonight. Afterwards, you’ll be eager to head outside and start making your own discoveries!
Fulldome Film: yes • Live Planetarium Content: yes • Guest Speaker: no
If pre-registrations are “sold out,” check back in a few days. There are often cancellations, with most cancellations coming on the day of the event. Also, we reserve a hand full of tickets to give out at the door.
December 15, 2017 5:30pm & 6:30pm
Come celebrate the season of feasts, family, and goodwill with the Framingham State University Planetarium family! In this live, astronomical “variety show,” you’ll learn why the December solstice has inspired so many wonderful cultural traditions, with origins in all corners of the globe and throughout most of human history. The longest night of the year means plenty of time for stargazing, and we may even get a chance to travel to Earth’s North Pole (pending a quick check of the naughty and nice list)!
Fulldome Film: no • Live Planetarium Content: yes • Guest Speaker: no
Late Nite Skies
November 17, 2017 7:00pm
Back to the Moon for Good
featuring Dr. Supriya Chakrabarti
Join us for a screening of the fulldome film Back to the Moon for Good, which tells the story of the Google Lunar XPrize, a contest that has inspired a modern-day space race among teams of space enthusiasts from around the world. After the film, Dr. Supriya Chakrabarti of UMass Lowell will share insights on Team Indus and their quest to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Dr. Chakrabarti is a Professor of Physics and Director of the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology (LoCSST) at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His work focuses on instrumentation for both space and ground based observation of Earth’s forests, planetary atmospheres and extra-solar planets. Now, Dr. Chakrabarti’s team has been asked by Team Indus to help them develop an instrument for their Moon mission!
Fulldome Film: yes• Live Planetarium Content: no • Guest Speaker: yes
January 19, 2018 7:00pm
Phantom of the Universe
featuring Dr. Vandana Singh
After a successful debut screening last year, we are bringing back Phantom of the Universe for an encore! This exciting fulldome film, produced in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, will introduce you to one of the most intriguing areas in current physics research: dark matter. After the film, we will be joined by Dr. Vandana Singh, Framingham State University’s Chair of Physics and Earth Science and resident particle physics expert. Dr. Singh will be on hand to answer your questions and shed more light on the work being done by scientists at facilities like CERN.
Fulldome Film: yes • Live Planetarium Content: no • Guest Speaker: yes
- Please plan ahead: the McAuliffe Center is situated within a college campus.
- Visitors should arrive on campus at least 20 minutes prior to show time.
- Use the campus map provided to locate designated parking areas, and the entrance to the McAuliffe Center. Please park in Salem End Road Parking lot. View our directions and parking page here.
- To ensure visitor safety and quality of presentation, planetarium doors will remain closed once the show has begun.
- Late arrivals will not be admitted
- If a pre-registered guest has not checked in within 5 minutes of the start of the program (i.e. 5:25pm, 6:25pm, 6:55pm), their tickets will be released and made available to others.
- A limited number of tickets to each event will be made available at the door, on a first-come, first-served basis starting 30 minutes before the first program of the night.
- Doors will not open until 30 minutes prior to show time.
- There is no food or drink allowed in the planetarium.
ABOUT OUR SHOWS
FSU’s digital planetarium allows us the ability to project a realistic night sky and to present fulldome digital video. We hold licensing rights to a small selection of feature-length fulldome films. Our monthly public planetarium programs are about one hour in length and may include some combination of: a fulldome feature film, a short talk presented by a guest speaker, and/or a live planetarium segment. A live planetarium segment may include a tour of the seasonal night sky and/or other multimedia elements presented with live narration. Please see the descriptions of the individual monthly programs above.