Area Activity Guide: Planetarium Reopening

A Celebration of Cosmic Proportions

For the last three months, the Strasenburgh Planetarium at Rochester Museum and Science Center has been closed for completion of the most significant renovation in its 50-year history. The weekend of January 12th and 13th, the planetarium will reopen with a celebration of epic proportions. To experience the new upgrades, guests can purchase tickets to a new all-ages featured presentation, “Outer Space to Inner Space,” or a much-loved star show, “The Sky Tonight.” Families can also enjoy other activities in the Planetarium lobby and Science Museum, including photo opportunities, space-themed make-and-take crafts, Mars rover demos, and more!

Stellar Improvements

Recently completed improvements include a full overhaul of the Star Theater, including replacement of the 1968 Carl Zeiss Mark VI star projector with a modern Digistar 6 full-dome visualization system. The new projector will captivate audiences in part thanks to two HemiStar fisheye projection lenses, which enable the projection of 360° images inside spherical display systems, donated by local optics company Navitar. Incandescent lights have been replaced by state-of-the-art programmable LED lighting, and a flexible seating plan will reduce crowding inside the theater.

“Outer Space to Inner Space,”

A new, all-ages featured presentation, “Outer Space to Inner Space,” will take visitors on a journey from Earth, through our solar system and galactic neighborhood, and back down to the micro world of molecules. This colorful, faster-paced show features a blend of movie-like images of planets, stars, and constellations set to music. Families who prefer to enjoy the Planetarium as a lights-up, music-down, doors-open environment can attend special sensory-friendly performances starting February 2nd.

“The Sky Tonight”

The much-loved Star Show “The Sky Tonight” is coming back for a repeat performance, recreated using the beautiful capabilities of the Planetarium’s new full-dome projection system. This quiet, slower-paced show is a tour of the stars, planets, and constellations you would see the night of the show from Rochester if skies were clear. If you’re a long-time Carl fan, don’t worry. You can still see the stars with Carl starting in February. When the time finally does come for the old projector to be retired, he’ll be moved to a place of honor in a museum exhibit.