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)wsu.edu to arrange.
2023 Late Fall
$5 public shows
Oct 13 & 15: From earth to the universe
Oct 20 & 22: Big Astronomy
Oct 27 & 29: Sentient
Nov 3 & 5: 5000 Eyes
Nov 10 & 12: Distant Worlds – Alien Life?
Dec 1 & 3: Forward to the Moon
Dec 8 & 10: Rock the Rocks
We are gratified that our series of informative and entertaining shows for the general public have proven popular. From 2014 to 2016, we installed a spheric-mirror digital projection system to enable a whole new layer of flexibility in the star theater, including the capability to show fulldome movies. Our dome was painted a friendly gray color in 2019 to reduce light echoes and improve contrast.
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”).
- Day time groups ($0)
- Evening public shows ($5)
- Corporate facility rental
Currently scheduled by
Friday, September 29, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 1, 5:00 p.m.
A docent-led tour of October night skies and the Oct 14 annular eclipse of the sun, followed by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s movie is “Seeing!” narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Follow a photon from its origin in the far reaches of the universe to its detection by the human eye. As much about biology and biochemistry as it is about astronomy, this movie may just … wait for it … open your eyes.
Friday, October 6, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 8, 5:00 p.m.
A docent-led tour of October night skies and the Oct 14 annular eclipse of the sun, followed by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s movie is The Audio Universe, a tour of the solar system using audio cues. The show is designed to accommodate the visually impaired.
Friday, October 13, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 15, 5:00 p.m.
A docent-guided tour of October night skies, including, for the 13th, a weather report and description of the 14th’s solar eclipse. The night sky tour will be followed by the fulldome presentation From Earth to the Universe, a 30-minute voyage through space and time.
Friday, October 20, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 22, 5:00 p.m.
A docent-led tour of October night skies, followed by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s movie is Big Astronomy, a sampling of the telescopes of Chile and the scientific discoveries coming from these state-of-the-art facilities.
Friday, October 27, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 29, 5:00 p.m.
A unique, and somewhat unsettling trio of dramatic essays on the nature of consciousness with accompanying fulldome imagery. This student-produced film is like nothing you have seen in a planetarium before.
Friday, November 3, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 5, 5:00 p.m.
A guided tour of November night skies, followed by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s film is “5000 Eyes,” referring to the number of optical fibers in the “DESI” instrument, each of which can gather the spectral light of a distant galaxy. Join us to learn about dark energy and “weak gravitational lensing.”
Friday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 12, 5:00 p.m.
A guided tour of November night skies, following by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s show is “Distant Worlds – Alien Life?” The film’s topic is astrobiology – the study of the possibilities for life in the extreme environments that might be found in other solar systems in the Galaxy. Using the one example we have – Earth – we extrapolate as best we can outward to the universe.
Friday, December 1, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 8, 5:00 p.m.
A guided tour of December night skies, followed by a fulldome video presentation. Tonight’s show is “Forward to the Moon,” a status update on NASA’s Artemis mission, our manned return mission to our natural satellite.
Friday, December 8, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 10, 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate semester’s end with a giddy, slightly goofy tour of the solar system (our “rocks”), set to a classic rock soundtrack that features various astronomy-related tunes. We’re going to crank the volume and let our sound system rumble, so prepare to rock (the rocks).
Directions from Stadium & Main: Turn up Stadium, immediate left at Nevada, immediate left at Washington, turn right on Spokane Street. Street spots and nearby parking lots are legal to park in after-hours. Otherwise, please arrange a temporary permit from parking.wsu.edu (the zone you want is called “green 3.”) 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.