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Star Chamber Shows

Nearly all of our shows are custom-designed by the Hardin Planetarium, and all of our shows are for public education. For the sake of public health, none of our shows at this time involve physical interactivity.


Current Public Schedule

Below is a list of all of the free public shows in chronological order. These free shows are open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday, 7:00 PM, and every Sunday 2:00 PM.



Tuesday 13 October through Tuesday 24 November

“Phantom of the Universe”

Follow protons through CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and descend a mile beneath the ground searching for dark matter. Evidently it makes up 85% of the total mass of the universe, yet it has so far been detected only by its gravitational effects. Film narrated by Tilda Swinton.

Closed Thanksgiving Day



Sunday 29 November through Thursday 7 January 2021

(no shows on December 24 and 31)

“Celebrations for a Long Winter's Night”

The long cold winter nights of December are well suited for celebrations. This festive show illuminates the meaning of the winter solstice, and shares some history behind our holiday customs. Photo: Kevin Willis (WKYU)




Other available shows

We provide many other Star Chamber shows, and they are found below. We will update the above calendar with shows from below, but the below shows are all of the others on offer. Note that most of these are designed to also fulfill formal education standards.


“First Steps on the Moon”

The challanges of traveling as far as the Moon were achieved in 1969, and we explore this in a film. We also learn--interactively--how to target a moving object, how far away the Moon really is, and how to time a landing.

Suitable for grades 3 to adult. Subjects: Earth-Moon system; Moon features and behavior; space travel


Tuesday 25 August through Sunday 11 October

“Hubble Space Telescope’s 30th Anniversary”

The Hubble Space Telescope was launched thirty years ago, on April 24th, 1990. Enjoy beautiful images captured by HST with no narration and a specially composed soundtrack inspired by HST’s legacy. Questions about HST, its images, and astronomy and astrophysics will be answered at the conclusion of each show.
Hardin Planetarium has worked hard to create an environment safe for everyone. Properly worn masks and appropriate distancing are required while in the planetarium.


“Invisible Universe”

We learn about the cosmos by analyzing the light that shines across space, but visible light is only a tiny portion of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Only recently have we invented the kinds of telescopes needed to see the rest of the universe: infrared, radio, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma-rays.

Grades 6 to 12.  Subjects: electromagnetic spectrum; astronomical discoveries



The search for life beyond Earth leads us to the surprisingly diverse array of moons in our very own solar system. What places in a solar system are likely locations for life as we understand it?

Suitable for grades 5 to adult. Subjects: extraterrestrial life; Solar System structure; moons; the role of water for life; radiation shielding



A film viewing the universe by music and mathematics, showing off the sound system provided to us by the WKU Sisterhood.


“Our Star!”

A spectacular up-close look at our Sun and how it affects our world. And because the Sun is our nearest star, we learn a lot about stars by studying it.


“Saturn's 'Young' Rings”

Explore the young age of Saturn's rings in context of our lives, the formation of our Solar System, and the birth of our Universe to understand what "young" actually means from a cosmic perspective.

Suitable for grades 6 to adult. Subjects: Geologic time line; age of the Earth, the Universe, Saturn's rings; ring structure and formation


“Spaceship Earth”

Where we stand in the cosmos: a perspective. Learn how everything in the universe spins and orbits, and how the universe is, indeed, expanding.

Suitable for grades 6 to adult. Subjects: planetary, solar, and galactic astrophysics


“When the Universe Was Young”

Explore why we believe we finally understand what the universe was like when it was young, and learn three tools we use to come to that conclusion.

Suitable for grades 7 to adult. Subjects: early universe; look-back time; spatial dimensions; electromagnetic spectrum; redshift



Formal Education shows

While most of our shows are designed to fulfill formal education standards, the below shows are only for school field trips.



“Ancient Earth”

How old is the Earth, and how have we determined that?

Grades 6 to 12.  NGSS standards: MS-ESS1-4, HS-ESS1-6, HS-ESS1-5, HS-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-3, HS-PS1-8, MS-PS1-1, 5-PS1-1, 4-ESS1-1, 3-LS4-1, MS-ESS1-2


“Daily Motions”

Learn how and why the Sun, the Moon, and the stars appear to move across the sky each day. Explore the difference between how they appear to move from Kentucky and how they move from the Equator or the North Pole!

Grades Pre-K to 2.  Subjects: Earth's rotation; measuring time passage


“Motions in the Sky”

Why does the Sun rise and set? How does the path change throughout the months? How does the Moon move through the sky? Where are the other planets in the sky?

Grades 3 to 8.  Subjects differ by grades: elementary - noon Meridian (AM/PM); Movement of Sun, moon and planets; time zones | high school - Retrograde motion; time zones; Daylight Savings Time; celestial clock




Bringing a large group?

Please notify us 10 days in advance. Also, please clarify how many people you will bring, so we can prepare staff. We have a maximum capacity of 40 people (for public health). You’ll also likely need to use the Bus Drop Off map link at the column on the right.





Currently Unavailable

The below shows are not available until the public health situation changes.


“Starry Tales”

Find your way around night skies in this highly interactive experience. Examine star patterns in the current sky and create your own stories--as your ancestors did--to help remember these patterns.

Suitable for all ages. Subjects: pattern recognition; storytelling; constellations


“Two Small Pieces of Glass”

Combining a full-dome movie and highly interactive lessons, students learn how telescopes work, and learn their role in expanding human understanding.

Suitable for grades 3 to adult. Subjects: Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble; physics of light and planets; reflection & refraction



Public Parking:

Overhead parking map around the planetarium

1) Along State Street

2) Two spots in the lot between Ogden College Hall and Kelly Thompson Hall

3) College Hill Lot, up College Heights Blvd. on the right

4) Chestnut Street North Lot, at the corner of Chestnut and 14th Ave, two blocks from the Planetarium 


Bus Unloading:

» Download the bus unloading map (PDF)


Icon representing handicapped ParkingWheelchair Accessibility: A ramp from State St. provides access to the building's main floor. The below lots are only available on weekends or after 4:30 PM.

1) Two spots in a tiny lot behind the building, at the end of a driveway from State St. That lot is lower than the building, so it is an uphill climb.

2) Three spots in the lot between Ogden College Hall and Kelly Thompson Hall.

3) The large parking lots on top of College Heights Blvd. The path from there is down hill.



Mailing List:

Many of our guests prefer to be notified of our events. You can sign up below or at the planetarium.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 10/12/20