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Physics and Astronomy WSU Planetarium


The WSU Planetarium features a digital fulldome projection system. During a sky tour, audiences interact with the projected sky and the docent to learn about astronomy. The dome is a 24 foot diameter plastic-laminated glass-fiber dome installed in Sloan Hall in March, 1962. In 1968 the projector was upgraded to the Spitz A3-P. In 2014, an interim spheric mirror digital projection system was added, upgraded to 4k resolution in summer 2016. It is used for WSU astronomy classes, school groups, other groups, and evening public shows. If you have a group of twelve or more, you can arrange a free, one-hour sky tour during business hours. Contact Dr. Guy Worthey at gworthey(at) to arrange.

2019 Summer
$5 public shows

May 31/June 2 Summer Skies

June 14/16 Galaxies

June 28/30 Drifters in the Dark

July 19/21 Apollo 11

Aug 16/18 Binocular Stargazing

Summer 2019 Schedule

Tickets at the door are $5 (cash or check, no credit). Children 6 and under free. Scroll down for detailed directions to the WSU Planetarium, 231 Sloan Hall.

Summer Skies

Friday, May 31, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 2, 5:00 p.m.


Come to the planetarium for a preview of sky highlights for summer, 2019. Travel to Chile for a solar eclipse. See Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. Explore the clockwork constellations for sultry summer. Follow the moon and watch for meteor showers. Interactive sky dome presentation.


Friday, June 14, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 16, 5:00 p.m.

This planetarium multimedia lecture outlines the basics of the most beautiful of large-scale structures in the universe: galaxies. Each island universe is a complex ecosystem of gravity, light, matter, and dark matter. The hundreds of billions of stars that each galaxy contains is only the start of the story. Come to the WSU Planetarium for the unabridged version.

Drifters in the Dark: Voyagers 1 and 2

Friday, June 28, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 30, 5:00 p.m.

This planetarium multimedia lecture tells of the epic journey of our most distant messengers, the Voyager mission probes. Voyager 1 is the most distant manmade object, over 13 billion miles away and receding more each day. The science missions of these probes revolutionized planetary science and fed humankind’s curiosity to explore the fascinating worlds of our solar system.

Magnificent Desolation: Apollo 11 anniversary show

Friday, July 19, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 21, 5:00 p.m.

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. This multimedia lecture celebrates the soaring of the human spirit, from powered flight in 1903 to lunar landing in 1969, in only 66 years we have conquered the air and entered the vastness of space. Features selected stories and images from the early US space program.


Directions from Stadium & Main: Turn up Stadium, immediate left at Nevada, immediate left at Washington, turn right on Spokane Street. (“Green” and “Yellow” spots are legal to park in after-hours. Otherwise, please arrange a temporary permit.) The pedestrian bridge is the most convenient entry; come across the bridge, come in the building, then turn right. Twenty paces later, turn left and head down the hall to Sloan 231.


We are excited that our series of informative and entertaining shows for the general public, inaugurated in Spring, 2014, have proven very popular. In Summer, 2014, we installed a spheric-mirror digital projection system to operate alongside the legacy Spitz star ball to enable a whole new layer of flexibility in the star theater. Funds from ticket sales maintain and improve our surround sound and full dome visual systems, and guarantee an offering of even more spectacular public events in the future. The WSU Foundation will be happy to assist you if you wish to accelerate the upgrades with a financial gift (donate to “astronomy development fund”).

Our offerings:

  • Day time groups ($0)
  • Evening public shows ($5)
  • Corporate facility rental (inquire, 335-4994)


Backyard Binocular Astronomy


Friday, August 16, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, August 18, 5:00 p.m.

The pattern of the constellations remains unchanged from generation to generation. Using these familiar landmarks (skymarks?) to guide us, we will point out some of the fascinating astronomical objects that can be seen with binoculars. Maybe a little too faint for the unaided eye, but not requiring the power of a telescope, there is a long list of amazing sky objects best viewed with a humble pair of binoculars.