Welcome to the Radford University Planetarium

Our upcoming shows are these:

  • Monday-Friday @7pm - "From Earth to the Universe" (FETTU). FETTU is a fantastic tour of astronomy, and travels through our solar system out to the broader universe. This visually stunning show was produced by Theofanis Matsopoulos & European Southern Observatory (ESO). Reservations not required. 
  • Saturday, October 16 @ 10:30am - "Max Goes to the Moon." Max the dog and his human Tori take a science-filled trip to our moon, and discuver what awaits us there as we prepare to return to our nearest celestial neighbor. Reservations required - see below for details.
  • Starting Saturday, October 23@ 10:30am - "One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure." This is for our youngest audiences, and is great for ages up to around 7 years old. The show follows Sesame Street's Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from Zhima Jie, the Chinese co-production of Sesame Street. Together, they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the Moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. One World, One Sky is a brilliant spectacle of light and color as the furry friends watch the stars twinkle over Sesame Street. Children attending the show can interact as they watch, drawing constellations and counting the time it takes the sun to set. One, World, One Sky is a production of Adler Planetarium, Sesame Workshop, Beijing Planetarium, and Liberty Science Center and was produced with major support from the National Science Foundation. Reservations required - see below for details.
  • Special extra shows on Saturday, October 23 @ 12noon, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm - "Einstein's Gravity Playlist" Our planetarium is hosting the Virginia premiere! This original planetarium show explores ripples in space-time known as gravitational waves. Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, and a century later, scientists detected these waves using incredibly precise laser technology here on Earth. In honor of this long-anticipated detection, the scientists who created the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. In this show, viewers follow Lucia, a PhD student in physics, as she explores how gravitational waves are formed, how they move through the universe, and how scientists like her work to hear them. Reservations required - see below for details.

We will not need people to pre-register for the evening shows. We have enough seats to safely spread people out including "family groups." Our operators will have a seating chart and will direct people to seats as they arrive. If the planetarium does reach its covid-safe capacity, then we will no longer be able to admit anyone. However, it is unlikely that we will reach that capacity. However, for the Saturday morning shows, we still need people/groups to pre-register for these by emailing planets@radford.edu with your name, and the number of people in your group; please wait for the confirmation email before coming to the requested Saturday show. 

For shows that require reservations: Please email planets@radford.edu with your name, your phone number, the date of the show that you would like to attend, and the total number of people in your covid/family group. with the names of all people in their group including their own name, and the total number of people in their group. 

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In order to continue operating in this reduced capacity in these difficult times, we appreciate your assistance. Please be advised of the following:

  • The Commonwealth of Virginia and Radford University have a masking requirement. Additional information is available at https://www.radford.edu/content/radfordcore/home/reopening/mask.html  
  • Radford University is requiring physical distancing in any and all situations where possible.  For the Planetarium, we can arrange seating so that families can sit with each other, but non-family individuals and groups will be seated with at least five feet of physical distancing. We will have available seats clearly marked. 
  • Radford University is advising anyone who is ill or feeling ill to remain at home. 
  • We know this is difficult, but we ask for your patience and assistance as we attempt to navigate these challenging times. 
Planetarium location map
Planetarium location map
  • Location: Center for the Sciences room M75 (Main Street level). Enter through the doors from Parking Lot C. Click on the map for a larger image.
  • All shows are free and everyone is welcome to come join us! 
  • Seating capacity: 27 (at some point it will again be 55 visitors post-covid)
  • All shows include a tour of the nighttime sky using our full-dome projection system. Some shows will also have a full-dome, professionally produced show on an astronomical topic. The shows are described below.
  • (Pre- and post-covid: No resesrvations requried for our regular public shows. However, if you have a group of 35 or more please email/call ahead (24+ hours) to be sure there isn't another large group coming for the same show.) 
  • Parking for the daytime shows: 
    • There are 4 metered spaces in Lots C and B, next to the Center for the Sciences. 
    • There are also several metered spaces in the portion of Parking Lot A that lies directly between Martin Hall and Main Street. 
    • You can also pick up a free parking day pass by dropping by the Radford University Parking office in Heth Hall, or the Radford University Police Station (intersection of University Drive and Main Street). 
  • We have hearing-assist receivers for our sound system--please bring your own earphones (1/16 inch [3.5mm] stereo jack).
  • No food or drinks allowed in the planetarium!

For more information, contact Planetarium Director Dr. Rhett Herman at rherman@radford.edu.

Schedule a Group Visit

We will resume special showings once the current crisis is resolved. Once that happens, special group showings for groups of 20 or more people may be arranged by contacting Dr. Rhett Herman at rherman@radford.edu (email preferred) or calling 540-831-5441