Our New Planetarium

The Sanford Museum is excited for our new SciDome Theater. Our new Spitz SciDome IQ 2400 projector has replaced our 1951 Spitz A-1 projector. We will have a variety of public shows that day, giving everyone a sample of what our new system has to offer. 

After our opening, we will be offering public programs every Sunday and Wednesday as well as programs for groups and schools during the week by reservation.  


We can now offer programs in three different subject areas:     

Astronomy: You may have done the night sky programs with us before, but with our new starry program your experience will be spectacular! We will be able to explore constellations, planets, galaxies and so much more!   

Layered Earth: This program gives us the ability to explore many different aspects of our planet. The rocks that form the Earth, land formations, sea floors, plate tectonics are just a few of the many layers we can navigate through.  

 Human Anatomy: Travel through and around the human body. With the 3D simulations we will be able to look at the many complicated systems of our bodies. For example, we can explore the skeletal, muscular and nervous system of the human body or perhaps just look at one isolated organ or bone.     

Public Planetarium Shows

Each month the public planetarium programs will be centered around a theme. Public shows will be held every Sunday and Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. 


2018 monthly planetarium shows

JANUARY: From the Stars to our Spinal Cord: A Journey in our Planetarium

We are excited to show off all the amazing educational tools our new planetarium projector is capable of! This program will be a sampler of the three new programs: The Layered Earth, Zygote Body, and Starry night. We will fly into the human heart, around the earth to look at the layers beneath our feet, and then way out into space to look at our galaxy!

FEBRUARY: Love Stories of the Night Sky

February is the month of Valentine’s Day and lovers often look to the skies when they think of romance. They are not the only ones! In fact, astronomers too included love stories in the sky, when they named constellations and planets. Many astronomical features are named after greek and roman mythology, with tragic and romantic love stories of the gods and the mere mortals they oversaw. This month we will look at some of these romantic stories in the night sky.

MARCH: Our Constant Constellations

There are five constellations that never set in the northern hemisphere. We’ll take a look at the earth from space to understand why this is and learn about the stories that surround those constellations. 

APRIL: Oasis in Space

Oasis in Space transports the audience on a startling and beautiful voyage through our universe, galaxy and solar system in search of liquid water - a key ingredient for life on Earth. 

MAY: Astronaut

The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? We will explore the International Space Station and experience a rocket launch and the incredible training an astronaut must go through!

JUNE: Reason for the Season

Did you know that the earth is closest to the sun during winter in the northern hemisphere? Then why is it so cold!? During the month of the summer solstice, stop in to learn about the tilt of the earth and why it creates such unique seasons around the world! 

JULY: Boom, Clang, Swish: The Dynamic Earth

Even though the ground under our feet feels firm, the earth is always shaking, and sliding, and moving. This month we’ll peel back the layers of the earth to understand plate tectonics, earthquakes, and more!

AUGUST: Meteor Mania

Even if you miss the Perseid meteor show outdoors this month, the planetarium will be showing them every Wednesday and Sunday! We’ll also investigate why meteors happen and other flying space objects, like comets!

SEPTEMBER: Ancient Civilizations and the Cosmos

Ancient people were much more connected to the night sky than we are today. They used it as their compass, as their calendar, and as a canvas for their mythologies. Did you know some archaeological sites have astronomical alignments? We will travel to several archaeological sites around the world to watch the mysteries unfold!

OCTOBER: The Unknown Universe

There are so many weird mysteries about the universe that science still has yet to explain. In honor of Halloween and all things weird, we will feature astronomical oddities of the universe like double stars, black holes, worm holes, and aurora borealis.

NOVEMBER: The Power of the Moon

The moon is our personal companion as we travel around the sun. It causes all sorts of phenomenon to our lives such as tides, eclipses, and more! This month we will land on the surface of the moon, study the phases of the moon, and learn about moons from other planets!

DECEMBER: Life on the North Pole

Celebrate the holiday season, by learning about life at the North Pole. We’ll see how the movement of constellations, sun, and moon differ from what we see at our latitude. 


Our public planetarium shows will be held every Sunday and Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.  beginning January 21.  

Planetarium shows can also be reserved by appointment for groups of 10 or more, on weekdays.