Programs

We strive to provide programs that are designed to entertain the audience as well as educate them about the wonders of our universe. Shows are presented to the public on a regular basis during the school year. Special showings are very popular with schools, scouting groups and adult organizations. Most programs are presented by students at Olivet Nazarene University who have completed at least six semester hours of astronomy. General shows are often performed live so that each program can be easily adapted to a particular audience. Specialized shows dealing with specific astronomical topics are also available upon request.

Attack of the Space Pirates

Space Pirates

This full-dome presentation by the creators of THE SECRET OF THE CARDBOARD ROCKET is educational fun for the entire family, a space thriller that puts the SCIENCE back in SCIENCE FICTION.  Join the crew of the Starship Intrepid as they race against time to put together clues and assemble an ancient alien technology.  Along the way they encounter various astronomical objects such as exoplanets, giant stars, pulsars, and black holes.  Topics discussed include the life cycles of stars, supernovae, and the way planetary systems evolve over time.  Suitable for middle school to adult learners, this show places the viewer in the cockpit for an out-of-this-world learning adventure. Running time approximately 35 minutes, including live star talk.

Dawn of the Space Age

Dawn of the Space Age

Witness the full scope of the planetarium’s new digital projection capabilities with this full-dome video presentation outlining mankind’s exploration of space from the launch of Sputnik to space tourism and beyond. This computer-animated odyssey puts viewers in the cockpits of the first manned space missions and on the lunar surface with the Apollo astronauts. The incredible visualizations and a soundtrack that includes favorites like Coldplay make this an engaging program for all ages. Educational content geared toward middle school to adult ages. This show is available in 30 minute and 40 minute versions, plus a 10 minute live star talk.

Eclipse: the Sun Revealed


Eclipses are certainly the most awe-inspiring celestial event. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon casts its shadow on a portion of the Earth, creating the incredible spectacle of darkness in the middle of the day. ECLIPSE: THE SUN REVEALED is an introduction to the science of eclipses and their history, as well as an explanation of how to view them safely. Hear first-hand accounts of witnessing a total solar eclipse and witness immersive visualizations that re-create this stunning event. Learn how eclipses revealed aspects of solar science that otherwise remained hidden. Leading up to the total solar eclipses visible from southern Illinois in 2017 and again in 2024, this show tells you all you need to know about the most impressive wonder the sky has to offer. Running time approximately 30 minutes. Suitable for audiences of all ages.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

Join Big Bird, Elmo, and a new friend as they explore the sky over Sesame Street and learn how the sky is the same in different parts of the world. Big Bird teaches the students about constellations, and Elmo uses his imagination to travel to the moon and learn the ways in which Earth and the moon are different. This show provides an interactive and musical introduction to the stars for the youngest stargazers. Topics include the sun as a star, sunrise and sunset, constellations, the North Star, and the moon. This show is for pre-school to early elementary school audiences and runs approximately 25 minutes. An optional 15-minute guided tour of the night sky can also be included for a total presentation period of 40 minutes.

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. ONE WORLD, ONE SKY is distributed by Loch Ness Productions.

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Blast off with two children as they use the power of their imaginations and the knowledge of a talking astronomy book to explore the planets of the solar system. Visit each planet in turn (including a certain well-known dwarf planet) to get a close-up look at their surfaces and learn more about their environments.Though the show is aimed primarily for children pre-K to early middle school level, full-dome video effects make this an exhilarating educational ride for all ages. Topics treated include the nature of the Sun, the inner planets, the gas giants, Pluto, temperature and pressure, and asteroids. This show is available in 30 minute or 40 minute versions, with the addition of a 10 minute live star talk. Spanish-language versions of this show are available as well.

STARS

STARS

Narrated by Star Wars' Mark Hamill and with a soundtrack performed by the Nashville Orchestra, this show explores the dynamic life and death of stars, the powerhouses of the universe.  This show is suitable for general audiences and educationally geared toward middle school level and above.  STARS explores star birth, giant stars, pulsars, and black holes as well as a providing a brief history of astronomy and an introduction to our solar system, the galaxy, and the nature of light.  Running time approximately 35 minutes, including live star talk.

STARS is a production of Adventure Science Center, Sudekum Planetarium, Nashville, TN

Strickler Holiday Special: The Stars of Christmas

Please note that THE STARS OF CHRISTMAS will not be playing publicly during the 2016 Christmas season. Shows are still available for private group showings. See the field trip reservation form to request a showing for your church or school group. Explore the holiday sky in this live presentation that introduces the brightest stars of the Christmas sky.  Then take a trip back in time to speculate on the nature and origin of the most famous star of Christmas: the star of Bethlehem. Running time approximately 30 minutes. Please see our current schedule for dates and times.

The Dark Matter Mystery

The Dark Matter Mystery

How is it that astronomers still don't know what makes up the majority of the universe? Dark matter composes far more of the universe than the "ordinary" matter like stars, planets, and dust-- but scientists are still working to understand what it actually is. The Dark Matter Mystery, produced by the Laupheim Planetarium in Germany, is an in-depth, immersive exploration of this contemporary frontier in astronomy. Learn more about the properties of dark matter and the techniques being used to attempt to detect it. Look back at the discovery of the planet Uranus and even further to the evolution of the early universe to understand how the contours of the unknown continue to shape the development of our science. It is time to be curious. The Dark Matter Mystery is suitable for all ages but geared for high school and adult audiences, with a running time of approximately 30 minutes.

The Haunted Planetarium

Visit the planetarium for a spook-tacular presentation that includes a virtual trip through a haunted castle and a wild ride on a space coaster.  Show time is approximately 25 minutes and is appropriate for all ages.  The cost is only $1 per person, though seating at each show is limited to 50. Please see our current schedule for dates and times.

Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

Two Small Pieces of Glass

This show is a celebration of the International Year of Astronomy and the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first observations through the telescope.  Viewers visit a night-sky party with two young astronomy enthusiasts as they learn about the history of the telescope, the nature of light, and current frontiers of astronomy research. High-quality digital and video effects allow the viewer to travel in time and space, visiting Galileo and Newton as they make their historic discoveries and witnessing the frontiers of astronomy that have come from their work. Suitable for middle school and above, this show is an excellent introduction to astronomy and optics. Running time approximately 35 minutes, including live star talk.

Undiscovered Worlds

Educator's Guide

Join the search for undiscovered worlds with this program that explores the most exciting frontier in contemporary astronomy: the discovery of exoplanets. Exoplanets are worlds that circle stars other than our Sun, and their detection and classification is a rapidly developing field of observational astronomy. This show is appropriate for middle school, high school, and adult audiences and discusses the history of exoplanetary detection, outlines the types of exoplanets so far discovered, investigates the implications this has for our theories of the evolution of the solar system, and explains the science behind our methods of detecting these bodies. Spectacular representations of what these newly-discovered objects may look like brings an immersive and imaginative element to this factual description of the most rapidly-developing astronomical endeavor. Running time approximately 30 minutes, 45 minutes with live star talk and discussion. Topics covered: spectroscopy, transits, Kepler mission, solar system evolution. Grades 6-12 and adult. Educator's guide available.

We Are Aliens

Are we alone in the universe? It's one of the oldest questions in astronomy, whether there is life elsewhere in the universe. In this presentation, join narrator Rupert Grint on an exploration of the possibility of life in our solar system and beyond. Learn how what we're discovering about life on our own planet is changing our perceptions regarding the search for life in the universe. From robotic explorers of the Red Planet to the realization that our galaxy is home to potentially millions of Earth-like worlds, this planetarium show will inspire and educate. Appropriate for upper elementary to adult audiences. Topics covered include extremophile biology, exoplanets, the watery interior of Europa, and the design, construction, and launch of a Martian rover. Running time approximately 30 minutes, 45 minutes with live star talk and discussion.

Wonders of the Universe

Peer deep into space through the eyes of the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope and travel back billions of years in time to witness the birth of the universe. On this breathtaking excursion you'll witness the formation of galaxies and explore some of the most wondrous nebulae and astronomical structures yet discovered. As your travels continue, you'll fly deep into our own Milky Way galaxy and return home to Earth on a spectacular tour through the solar system. Appropriate for middle school to adult audiences.  Show time approximately 45 minutes.

Wonders of the Universe is available with closed-captioning upon request.