PUBLIC PROGRAMS AT THE FRAMINGHAM STATE UNIVERSITY PLANETARIUM

Learning is universal at the FSU Planetarium. We offer three unique series of events, so there is something for everyone! Programs take place on the 3rd Friday of each month unless noted otherwise. Always check the schedule here to confirm dates and times. The event series alternates from month to month.

Space is limited in our planetarium. We strongly recommend that guests pre-register for events. Please explore the schedule below to find the links to pre-register for events. Pre-registration will be available 1 week before each event.

The Stellar Nursery sparks the imaginations of children aged 5 years and younger, and their caregivers, with science-related programs specially designed for our youngest learners.

Family Night at the FSU Planetarium gives families with children ages 6 and up an opportunity to discover the marvelous diversity of our universe, together.

Late Nite Skies challenges adults and teens ages 14 and older to explore the most exciting science and technology concepts of our time.

SCHEDULE

The Stellar Nursery

Family Night

December 13, 2019 5:30pm & 6:30pm

Holiday Skies

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

Pre-registration will be available one week before the event.

Late Nite Skies

September 20, 2019

Dynamic Earth

This April, the world will celebrate the 50th annual Earth Day. In the 50 years since the first Earth Day, much has changed in the way humans interact with our home planet, for better and for worse. The FSU Planetarium, in collaboration with Framingham State University and the Christa McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning, is celebrating the anniversary of Earth Day all year long with events designed to once again change how we look at Earth, and ourselves. Our first event, part of our regular monthly public planetarium program, will be a screening of Dynamic Earth, the newest addition to our lineup of fulldome films.

New to the FSU Planetarium’s collection, Dynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth’s great life support system: the global climate. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes.

Fulldome Film: yes • Live Planetarium Content: TBD • Guest Speaker: TBD

Pre-registration will be available one week before the event.

November 15, 2019 7:00pm

Supernova: A Matter of Life and Death featuring

Dr. Rodolfo Montez Jr.

For thousands of years, humans have looked up at the night sky and been comforted by the familiar patterns they see, night after night, year after year. In our fast-paced modern world, the stars seem to be one of the few constants in our lives. Take a closer look, however, and you will see that these stars are not as unchanging as they appear. In recent years, innovative telescopes and detectors such as the NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory have opened our eyes to the fascinating processes that surround the life and death of stars. Supernova: a Matter of Life and Death is an original multimedia planetarium production, written and produced by Mary MacDonald of the FSU Planetarium and Kim Kowal Arcand of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, featuring music by FSU’s Christian Gentry and narration by Debra Wise, Boston-area actor and Artistic Director of the award-winning Underground Railway Theatre.

The show will be followed by a talk presented by Dr. Rodolfo Montez Jr., Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which operates the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. Dr. Montez’s professional interests include Evolved Stars, Planetary Nebulae, Interacting Binary Stars and more.

Fulldome Film: yes* • Live Planetarium Content: no* • Guest Speaker: yes

*This program is not a true fulldome film but a multimedia production which utilizes multiple planetarium audio and visual elements

Pre-registration will be available one week before the event.

February 21, 2020 7:00pm

Habitat Earth

featuring Dr. Megan Lehnerd

The need for food is something that all living things have in common. Feeding relationships between species are the foundation of the global food web that has sustained life on Earth for millions of years. Unlike most other species, humans in the modern world have choices about we eat, and our choices can serve to break these delicate links, or strengthen and sustain them. Habitat Earth will take you on journey through some of Earth’s diverse and complex ecosystems, from the deepest oceans to the forest floor. This visually stunning fulldome film will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the life forms that populate these ecosystems, and the dynamic relationships between them.

Following the film, Dr. Megan Lehnerd, Assistant Professor of Food and Nutrition at Framingham State University, will share her thoughts about current food issues.

Fulldome Film: yes • Live Planetarium Content: no • Guest Speaker: yes

Pre-registration will be available one week before the event.

PLANETARIUM POLICIES

  • Please plan ahead: the McAuliffe Center/FSU Planetarium is situated within a college campus.
  • Visitors should plan to 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
  • Pre-registered guests will be given priority admission, but pre-registration does not guarantee admission.
  • 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.
  • Seating of guests, pre-registered or not, will cease when capacity has been reached.
  • Doors to our lobby will not open until 30 minutes before the first show of the evening.
  • 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.

Contact Us

Have a question about one of our programs? Send us an email and we'll get back to you.

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