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!
Explore today's planetatrium program offerings as well as any other special events that might be going on at the Institute of Science! 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.
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.
Once a planet of great mystery, now we know more than ever before about its amazing system of rings, moons, and storms thanks to modern robotic space pioneers. Saturn not only incorporates the best imagery from the Cassini-Huygens mission, it uses photomaps of the moons to create 3-dimensional bodies complete with surface sculpting and height maps so the craters, canyons and mountains will show true surface relief.
From its bizarre moons with mysterious features, to the millions of icy particles that compose the enigmatic rings, this is the modern three-dimensional tour of the Saturnian system that goes beyond the CG experience – It’s like flying piggyback on the Cassini spacecraft.
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.
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.