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.

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.

Planetarium Tickets (in addition to museum admission where appropriate)

Public Planetarium Programs

One World, One Sky

Michigan Sky Tonight

Young Stargazers

Stars of the Pharaohs

Now Showing

Travel to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar, and align huge buildings.

You’ll learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena, and experience some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in all of their original splendor.

This program is usually available every Friday and Saturing evening at 7pm and every Saturday and Sunday at 12:30pm. Please check out our daily planetarium schedule for specific show times and dates.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Now Showing

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 Saturing 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.

Coming Soon

Totality

Beginning July 5, 2017

This program is all about eclipses – from lunar to total solar. Discover how they occur and what happens when they do. Look back to the proof of general relativity and look forward to upcoming eclipses and where to witness them. After Totality concludes, experience what the August 21, 2017 eclipse will look like, then travel further into the future to observe the next great solar eclipse in 2024!

Out There – The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds

Beginning September 2017

For thousands of years, humankind thought it was the center of the universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination, and urge to explore, we now know that planets like Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The sun is just one ordinary star in our galaxy. With the world’s most powerful telescope we are able to explore more and more of the universe. What we have found so far has surpassed our wildest dreams. Most stars have planets! A huge diversity of worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered. But despite all of these discoveries, one question remains unanswered. Is there life…out there?