Planetarium Schedule


  • 7:00pm - Michigan Sky Tonight 
  • 8:00pm - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon


  • 11:00am - One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
  • 12:00pm - Birth of Planet Earth
  • 3:00pm - Young Stargazers Sky Journey
  • 4:00pm - Michigan Sky Tonight


  • 1:00pm - One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
  • 2:00pm - Michigan Sky Tonight
  • 3:00pm - Birth of Planet Earth

Starting November 24, 2021


  • 7:00pm - Let It Snow
  • 8:00pm - Michigan Sky Tonight
  • 9:00pm - Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon

Saturday (Also on November 24, 26 and December 27 - 30, 2021)

  • 11:30am - One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
  • 12:30pm - Let It Snow
  • 1:30pm - Michigan Sky Tonight
  • 2:30pm - Mystery of the Christmas Star
  • 3:30pm - Michigan Sky Tonight (ages 6 and above)


  • 12:30pm - One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
  • 1:30pm - Let It Snow
  • 2:30pm - Michigan Sky Tonight

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!

Visitor 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 can 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 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.

Tickets are required for all programs in the planetarium in addition to museum admission. They can be purchased at the museum entrance desk. 

Planetarium Tickets (in addition to museum admission where appropriate)

Public Planetarium Programs

One World, One Sky

Michigan Sky Tonight

Young Stargazers

Dark Side of the Moon

Join us at the Acheson Planetarium for an entertainment show like no other - The Dark Side of the Moon. The eighth album by the English rock band Pink Floyd. Originally released on 1 March 1973, on the label Harvest, it built on ideas explored in the band's earlier recordings and live shows, but departs from instrumental thematic by founding member Syd Barrett. The album explores themes including conflict, greed, the passage of time, and mental illness, the latter partly inspired by Barrett's deteriorating mental state.

This program is usually available every Friday and Saturday evening at 9pm. Please check out our daily planetarium schedule for specific show times and dates.

This is not a laser show.

This program contains explicit lyrics. Parental discretion is advised.

Birth of Planet Earth

Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to a billion planets roughly the size of our own. The film employs advanced, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today: How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system's violent birth? What does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like?

Let It Snow

Let It Snow features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multi-media finale by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation and all-dome scenery in the audiovisual setting of the Acheson Planetarium. The 32-minute program is a fun and entertaining experience for all ages, especially families.

Mystery of the Christmas Star

Journey back 2000 years to Bethlehem as we examine the possible scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. Using recorded sightings of significant astronomical occurrences during related historical events, we’ll investigate possible dates for the birth of Jesus. We'll see which of these signs in the sky could have been remarkable enough to cause the wise men to travel across the desert from Babylon to Bethlehem just to see a newborn King. This modern retelling of the Christmas story is sure to charm and captivate audiences of all ages.

Some portions of our planetarium programming appear courtesy of: