We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Planetarium!
You can schedule a private show in the Planetarium for your group of 1-100 people.
Planetarium shows run 45-60 minutes. In addition to the show itself, we have a small exhibit area. School-age students can do a scavenger hunt in the exhibit area. That takes about 10-20 minutes. The scavenger hunt can be done before or after a show.
We also have a gift shop with books, toys, and, of course, Astronaut ice cream.
COVID Safety: Face masks are optional in all campus buildings. Raritan Valley Community College will continue to review its mask-wearing guidelines as warranted.
Maximum Number of attendees: 100
Fee: $200 for up to 20 people for one program. Additional people are $10 per person.
When: October - May: Weekdays at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Saturdays at 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 5:00 pm
June: Weekdays at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
July and August: Monday - Thursday at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm
Weekdays evening requests will be considered individually
Insurance: Raritan Valley Community College requests a Certificate of Insurance from all visiting groups.
Schedule a Trip: Fill out our Reservation Form
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Choose an astronomy program or laser concert for your private show
- Rockin’ Rocket Ride – Designed for Grades PreK-K
Join us on an adventure into space to learn about the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. Young explorers use their imaginations to become astronauts and travel around our solar system. Songs from Jane Murphy’s “Journey into Space” CD enhance our experience with “The Planet Song” and “Moon Rock Rock.”
- The Weather – Designed for Grades K – 2
Learn to use your senses to observe and predict weather; identify cloud types and how they help us predict the weather; discover the tools used to measure weather; and identify the parts of the water cycle.
- Accidental Astronauts – Designed for Grades PreK – 3
Robo-kids Cy, Annie and their dog Armstrong get a lot more than they expected from their class field trip in an impromptu adventure. Travel along exploring the Sun, Earth and Moon, with a witty starship computer as navigator and guide. Race along on the surface of the Moon! Collect an asteroid sample in low gravity! Survive a solar storm! Find new appreciation for the unique beauty of Earth. Journey along with the Accidental Astronauts in this epic dome theater adventure.
- Magic Tree House: Space Mission – Designed for Grades K – 4
From the authors of the best-selling novel series, join Jack and Annie as they discover the secrets of the Sun, Moon, planets, space travel, and more. Who can help them answer the mysterious "M's" questions? None other than an astronomer, an astronaut, some web surfing, and some thoughtful reflection.
- The Little Star that Could – Designed for grades 1-3
Travel with an average yellow star on his quest to get a “name” and a planet to call his own. A “cool” red star, a “hot” blue star, a dying star, double stars, and the Milky Way Galaxy teach the Little Star some important things about being a star. Imagine Little Star’s surprise when he discovers planets already going around him! After the story, we’ll discover some of the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky.
- Perfect Little Planet – Designed for grades 1-4
Imagine the ultimate space vacation! What if you could travel the galaxy to find that ideal place? Discover our solar system through a new set of eyes – a family from another star system seeking the perfect vacation spot. Fly over the surface of Pluto, our best known Dwarf Planet. Dive over the ice cliffs of Miranda. Sail through the rings of Saturn. Feel the lightning storms at Jupiter. And walk on the surface of Mars. Which destination would you choose? This is the solar system journey for space travelers of all ages. Created by the same folks who made “The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket,” this new show is for the same audience and covers the same topics, just with more up to date information.
- Follow the Drinking Gourd – Designed for grades 2 - 4
Learn to find the Big Dipper and several other constellations in our night sky. Then, join a slave family as they use the Big Dipper as a guide to escape oppression in the South. Sing along with the slaves who used the song of the Drinking Gourd to travel north on foot from Alabama to Canada. Based on Jeanette Winters’ book by the same title, this show describes the astronomy behind the slave song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.”
- Earth, Moon, and Sun (and Coyote) – Designed for Grades 2-5
Coyote has a razor-sharp wit, but he’s a little confused about what he sees in the sky. Join this amusing character (adapted from Native American oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun show that tells Native American stories, explores lunar phases, eclipses, and other puzzles. Engaging and immersive, “Earth, Moon & Sun” examines how humans learn through space exploration. This program includes a brief tour of the current night sky.
- The Problem with Pluto – Designed for Grades 3 – 6
Follow Lucy on her trip through the solar system as she gathers data on Pluto’s status as a planet. Discover current information about the planets and investigate where Pluto belongs in the overall structure of the solar system. After the story, we’ll discover some of the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky.
- To Worlds Beyond: A Journey through the Solar System – Designed for Grades 5-adult
Take an amazing journey through our solar system, visiting each of the planets, plus the most famous dwarf planet, Pluto. Beautiful images taken from orbiting satellites blend with high-end animations and current information on our neighborhood of planets.
- Our Violent Planet: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunamis – Designed for Grades 5-adult
We live out our lives on our planet’s fractured crust “plates” that pull apart, collide, grind past each other, and even sink below one another, producing violent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and catastrophic walls of water known as tsunamis.
- Astronaut – Designed for Grades 5-adult
The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the ISS to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject “Chad” our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him.
- Black Holes – Designed for Grades 5-adult
“Black Holes” takes you on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe: a black hole. Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one on Earth's horizon? Explore the science and mystery of Black Holes. *23-minute and 40-minute versions available.
- Solar System Odyssey – Designed for grades 5-8
Go on a futuristic journey through our Solar System. With Earth's resources being rapidly depleted, a tycoon sends our hero, Jack Larson, on a mission to discover a new home to colonize. This character-driven show is perfect for middle school students!
- Natural Selection – Designed for Grades 5 – adult
Join the young Charles Darwin on an adventurous voyage of exploration circumnavigating the world with the HMS Beagle. Witness the thrill of scientific discovery by seeing the world through Darwin's eyes, make observations of the most beautiful natural scenery, and let the pieces of a scientific puzzle slowly but surely fall into place. Allow Darwin himself to reveal this simple and most beautiful mechanism that explains the evolution of all life on Earth: natural selection, the single most wonderful idea anyone has ever had.
- Moons of the Solar System – Designed for grades 5-12
A live interactive presentation in several stages:
1. Observing Moon phases from Earth
2. Modeling Moon Phases
3. Tracking Jupiter’s moons as seen from Earth. (Recreates Galileo’s observations)
- Dark Matter Mystery – Exploring a Cosmic Secret – Designed for Grades 5-adult
What keeps galaxies together? What are the building blocks of the Universe? What makes the Universe look the way it looks today? We know that approximately a quarter of the Universe is filled with a mysterious glue: Dark Matter. We know that it is out there, but we have no idea what it is made of. You will see why we know that Dark Matter exists, and how this search is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for Dark Matter with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the Dark Matter Mystery?
- Exploding Universe – Designed for grades 5-adult
The universe we see today is the product of explosive events. They have even shaped our very existence. Supernovae seed the galaxies with heavy elements that make planets and life possible. When Black Holes collide, they can throw off some of the most energetic particles known, ripping and warping space as they go. But other outbursts have profound effects as well, such as supervolcanoes which have contributed to the transformation of our world into the life-bearing oasis we now enjoy. The smallest of explosions, such as the forced impact of high energy particles, can echo the foundational events of the early universe. As the universe has transformed into the structure we live in now, even the most elementary particles have endured. This show follows the path of one of these "particles," a proton, as it participates in nature's astounding events of rebirth and renewal.
- From Earth to the Universe – Designed for Grades 5 - adult
Experience Astronomy 101 in under an hour. The splendors of the Universe are revealed in this beautiful program. Our ancestors used the sky as a time keeper. Later, philosophers and scientists, from the Greeks to Galileo, began to unravel some of its mysteries. The invention of the telescope has allowed for still more discoveries. Fly by all the planets in our solar system, then travel beyond to view the birthplace and death of stars, and still farther to the myriad galaxies in our Universe. *available with Spanish soundtrack
- Live Seasonal Sky Show – Adaptable for Grades 3-adult
Introduce your students to the wonders of the day and night sky. This program can be tailored to your needs. Please choose one or two of the topics listed:
* locating stars, constellations, and planets in the current evening sky, stories of the constellations, movement of objects across the sky.
* Moon Phases
* Daily and Annual Motion of the Sky and Planets
Short Programs, running 10-15 minutes in length, can be added to any of the above Planetarium shows.
||Tonight’s Sky – an introduction to the stars and constellations we can see in tonight’s sky. This is typically included with every show we do, but can be replaced by something else by request.|
||Seasonal Sun Paths – We say the Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, but that’s not entirely accurate. We’ll observe the Sun’s rising and setting positions for each season and compare the lengths of the day over the course of the year.|
||Cosmic Address takes us on a journey from Earth, past the Oort Cloud, the Milky Way Galaxy and continues to the cosmic microwave background radiation to see where our tiny planet fits into this great big Universe.|
||Solar Quest demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are "Living with a Star." High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted. The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth.|
||Losing the Dark – Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky. If we all work together, we can bring back the dark of night to planet Earth.|
During a laser concert, lasers draw pictures on the dome while we play music.
- Laser Ladies (all songs are by female artists)
- Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon
- The Best of Pink Floyd
- Pink Floyd: The Wall
- Rockin’ Cosmic (all songs have a space theme)
- Laser Hollywood (themes and songs from movies)
- Laser Springsteen
- Led Zeppelin
- The Beatles
- Bon Jovi
- Rock of Ages (songs from the Broadway/movie by the same title)
- Grateful Dead
- Laser Love (all songs have a love theme)
- Laser Kids (family friendly songs including “YMCA” by The Village People and “Waka Waka” by Shakira.)
- Laser Magic (family friendly songs including “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Fireworks” by Katy Perry.)
- Pop Rock (family friendly songs including “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles and “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson.)