The Acheson Planetarium, supported by the Michael and Adele Acheson family, at Cranbrook Institute of Science is an intimate theater that allows you to immersively explore and experience the universe in rich color and detail.

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

Tales of a Time Traveler

Time travel like never imagined! Explore ancient civilizations. Witness the birth of the universe. Journey to the edge of a black hole. In Tales of a Time Traveler, you will discover that time is not so easily defined. Time is illusive, impossible to hold. It can't be owned. It can't be stopped. Time travel surrounds you – from the biological clock in your brain and the changing shadows on a sundial, to the history of life on Earth. Then the story expands to the lives of stars, the time scale of the Big Bang, and the distortion of time by gravity. Narrated by David Tennant.

Recommended for 5 years old and up.

Two Small Pieces of Glass

In 1609, Galileo Galilei became the first person to look at the heavens through a telescope and record his findings. What he saw changed our understanding of the universe forever. Since that time, telescopes have made it possible for us to explore our universe and discover amazing things. This program not only examines how telescopes work, but also unveils some of the discoveries made possible by the telescope — a tool originally made of a metal tube and two small pieces of glass.

Recommended for 5 years old and up.

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 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.


Some portions of our planetarium programming appear courtesy of: