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Planetarium: Information for School Groups

School groups are always welcome at any of the planetarium's regularly scheduled shows, but the planetarium is also pleased to offer special shows for groups of at least 15 by request.  Generally the theater is available at 10 a.m. every day or by request between other shows for any offering seen here.  

For questions about availability, please fill out the Schoolgroup Reservation Form or contact Amanda Hauer at (505) 841-2872

About our Shows

Every planetarium show comes with a live component!  Enchanted Skies is our full-length live show, but all of the movies below also have a short, 15-20 minute live presentation included before they start. 

Any request for content and educational needs or goals made at the time of registration will be integrated into shows when possible.

Available Planetarium Shows

1st Grade and Up
2nd Grade and Up
2nd Grade and Up
3rd Grade and Up
4th Grade and Up
4th Grade and Up
5th Grade and Up
All Ages
Elementary School and Up
Middle School and Up

Earth's Wild Ride

Imagine Earth were a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most about the planet, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren?

Set on the surface of the Moon in the year 2081, a grandfather and granddaughter watch a solar eclipse from scenic cliffs overlooking their moon colony. Conversation leads to contrasts between the moon, the only home the granddaughter knows, and the Earth, where the grandfather has spent most of his life.

As they watch the Moon's shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. Each experience begins with a telescope view of the dynamic Earth in stark contrast with the unchanging lunar landscape.
Earth's Wild Ride is like many tales shared by grandparents over the centuries, except "the old country" is really another planet, always visible from the moon base, but totally unlike the granddaughter's world. While learning about eclipses, the ice age, Earth's water cycle and differences between the Earth and Moon, the audience is taken on a roller-coaster-like ride through canyons of raging rivers and hot flowing lava. Adventure and appreciation for home fill this journey back to the Earth.

Produced in collaboration with Rice University, through NASA's Immersive Earth Project.

Suitable for:
1st Grade and Up

Fractals

The Fractal Foundation is now offering their spectacular, award-winning full-dome planetarium shows for school groups. This 50-minute show takes viewers on a tour of the fractals in nature and zooms through infinitely complex mathematical fractals. Featuring original music, the show is both educational and highly entertaining. To schedule a fractal show for your group and learn about pricing, contact emma@fractalfoundation.org or 505-615-4590.

Suitable for:
2nd Grade and Up

First Friday Fractals

First Friday of Each Month at 6, 7, 8 & 9 p.m.

Explore the never-ending world of fractals in this award-winning and inspiring planetarium program. The shows take audiences on a journey through the infinitely complex patterns known as fractals. This live, narrated show explores the fractal patterns in nature as well showing how math can become incredibly beautiful. The abstract landscapes that emerge from simple equations inspire fascination and wonder as they bring us face to face with the infinite.

Shows frequently sell out.  Purchase tickets in advance from the Fractal Foundation

Suitable for:
2nd Grade and Up

From Earth to the Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

Directed by the young Greek filmmaker Theofanis N. Matsopoulos, and featuring a sweeping soundtrack from Norwegian composer Johan B. Monell, viewers can revel in the splendour of the various worlds in the Solar System and the ferocity of the scorching Sun. From Earth to the Universe then leaves our home to take the audience out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

Director Theofanis N. Matsopoulos described the film as “a colourful and inspiring journey… the visuals are stunning and really speak for themselves in showing just how far humanity’s ambition has taken us in terms of observing and understanding the Universe.”

Suitable for:
3rd Grade and Up

Black Holes

The immensity and power of black holes inspire wonder and curiosity. As we consider these stellar enigmas, the very nature of space time is warped as we approach. The mass of a large star has collapsed and compressed into an area so small that space and time have no meaning within its bounds. Our journey also visits super-massive black holes of unfathomable size at the central point of galaxies. These hidden monsters constrain their entire galaxies around them in a kaleidoscopic gravitational dance.

Voyage through the galaxies in search of the answers to explain these riddles of nature in Black Holes!  Narrated by John de Lancie.

Suitable for:
4th Grade and Up

Dawn of the Space Age

 

From the first satellite, Sputnik, all the way to human missions and robotic explorations, this exciting program allows you to witness key moments in the history of space flight.

Suitable for:
4th Grade and Up

Back to the Moon: For Good

Back To The Moon For Good is an exciting, educational fulldome show narrated by award-winning actor Tim Allen. The 25-minute digital film highlights the history of exploring the moon and provides an insider’s look at the teams vying for the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE, the largest incentivized prize in history.

The show opens in the 1960s and 70s with the landers and orbiters that taught us the moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface. The Apollo missions which brought humans to the lunar surface are relived. Then the program looks to the future with the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which is designed to create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft. The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future.

The movie is preceeded by a brief (15-20 minute) live presentation about the night sky.

Suitable for:
5th Grade and Up

Perfect Little Planet

Join a family of space aliens as they tour our solar system in search of the ideal vacation destination.  Along the way, learn interesting facts about all of the planets and even some moons.

Suitable for:
All Ages

Enchanted Skies

This live, interactive tour of the heavens above New Mexico changes constantly and highlights the planets, constellations, deep sky objects and special astronomical events coming soon to a sky near you.

The content of this show can be customized to meet the needs of the audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suitable for:
All Ages

Earth, Moon, and Sun

This show explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors.

His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science.

Suitable for:
Elementary School and Up

Two Small Pieces of Glass

The telescope has revolutionized our understanding of the universe and our place in it.  Learn about how they work and the amazing discoveries that still come from our observatories.

Suitable for:
Middle School and Up
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