Acheson Planetarium

The planetarium at Cranbrook Institute of Science is an intimate theater that allows you to explore and experience the universe. It features a state-of-the-art Digistar star projector manufactured by Evans & Sutherland Corp., a company also renowned for its simulation products for aviation and government clients. The Digistar allows star fields and other images to be projected and moved through.

The latest round of upgrades to the planetarium, courtesy of the Michael and Adele Acheson family, offer visitors a 360 degree experience with a 5.1 surround sound system that delivers images three times brighter, crisper and more color-saturated than before. In addition, a new “green” LED lighting system allows the projection of any color in the spectrum and greater visual effects capabilities.

Interested in learning more about astronomy? Would you like to download your own star chart or sundial? The main astronomy resource page contains astronomy resources, local astronomy club information, NASA/JPL mission information, late breaking astronomy news and more!

Tickets are required for all programs in the planetarium in addition to museum admission. They can be purchased at the museum entrance desk. There is no late seating.

Ticket prices:
Ages two to adult: $5 per program plus museum admission
Institute members: $4 per program
Children under 2: $1 per program

Planetarium Schedule & Shows!

Saturday
10:30am
One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
Saturday
11:30am
Robot Explorers
Saturday/Sunday
12:30pm
Young Stargazers Sky Journey
Saturday/Sunday
1:30pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Saturday/Sunday
2:30pm
Robot Explorers
Saturday
3:30pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Ages 6 & Above Only
Friday/Saturday
7:00pm
Robot Explorers
Friday/Saturday
8:00pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Friday/Saturday
9:00pm
Secret Lives of Stars

Planetarium programs are offered Friday and Saturday evening and every Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 26, 28 and Dec. 26-30. This schedule is valid November 26 - December 30, 2014.  

Saturday
10:30am
One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure
Saturday
11:30am
Robot Explorers
Saturday/Sunday
12:30pm
Let It Snow
Saturday/Sunday
1:30pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Saturday/Sunday
2:30pm
Mystery of the Christmas Star
Saturday
3:30pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Ages 6 & Above Only
Friday/Saturday
7:00pm
Robot Explorers
Friday/Saturday
8:00pm
Michigan Sky Tonight
Friday/Saturday
9:00pm
Secret Lives of Stars

These shows are for general admission visitors. School groups and other groups may attend regularly scheduled public astronomy or entertainment shows, but are limited to 35 people per program. Private astronomy or entertainment shows for up to 75 people can be scheduled weekday mornings and afternoons throughout the school year. Further information is available on our For Teachers Web page.


VISITOR'S TIPS

  • Programs begin promptly. We suggest you arrive an hour before showtime. Always leave yourself enough time to park the car, purchase tickets, check your coats and strollers, visit the restrooms, etc.
  • Planetariums are not like movie theaters. Planetariums are too dark to allow audience members to come and go as they please (it is dangerous and disruptive). Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • Visit the restrooms before the program begins. Once the lights go down, visitors can leave, but are not permitted to reenter (see above).
  • Planetariums are great places for kids, but to recreate a nighttime environment the planetarium theater has to be dark. Note that strollers are not permitted.
  • Please turn off cell phones, beepers and other noisy electronic or light emitting devices while inside the theater.
  • No children under the age of 16 are permitted in the planetarium unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Note: food and drink are not permitted in the planetarium.

Staff

The astronomy staff at Cranbrook Institute of Science consists of museum professionals and dedicated part-time staff and volunteers. The members of the astronomy team are active telescope observers and are knowledgeable about all aspects of the field and the hobby of amateur astronomy. In the observatory or after a planetarium show, be sure to chat with them. They love sharing their interest in astronomy with others. The Cranbrook Astronomy staff are:

  • Ray Bullock
  • Jan Fiolka
  • Michael Foerster
  • Doug Goudie
  • Kevin Iott
  • Rick Kovari
  • Marty Kunz
  • Bob MacFarland
  • Karl Mayry
  • Michael J. Narlock (Head of Astronomy & Exhibits/Web Coordinator)

Contact Us

We're interested in your comments and we'd love to hear from you. If you have specific questions or need further information about Cranbrook's astronomy programs, please contact us.

Michael J. Narlock
Head of Astronomy/Exhibits & Web Coordinator
Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Avenue
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
mnarlock@cranbrook.edu


Astronomy/Educational Programs in the Planetarium

Astronomy/Educational programs in the planetarium are a fascinating and enjoyable way to learn about the science of astronomy, space exploration and more. Tickets are required.

These shows are for general admission visitors. School groups and other groups may attend regularly scheduled public sky shows, but are limited to 35 people per program. Private astronomy shows for up to 75 people can be scheduled weekday mornings and afternoons throughout the school year. Further information is available on our For Teachers Web page.