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Hardin Planetarium

Hardin Planetarium


Hardin Planetarium has offered entertaining and educational presentations delivered live by an astronomer since 1967.  With a 40-foot dome housing a Spitz A3P star projector, various special-effect projectors, and a seating capacity of 110, the planetarium supports astronomy laboratories and demonstrations for departmental astronomy classes, as well as providing educational presentations for off-campus school groups and the general public.

Participants can ask questions about what they're seeing or seek out more information afterward. There is no charge for admission.

Doors will open 15 minutes before show time. No one will be admitted after the presentation begins. All visitors in the planetarium should refrain from any activities that would be disruptive, including making distracting noises or using cell phones. Children twelve years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult.


Dedicated on October 13, 1967, the Hardin Planetarium is seventy-two feet in diameter, 44 feet high, encompassing 6,000 square feet on two levels. The projection chamber seats approximately 150 spectators.

The planetarium was named for Hardin Cherry Thompson [1938-1963], son of Western Kentucky University president Kelly Thompson, who died during his senior year at Western Kentucky University.


Past Directors

  • Paul Campbell 1970-1991
  • Roger Scott 1991-2011
 Planetarium Inauguration

Paul Campbell (standing) with WKU students around the Spitz projection ball in the chamber at WKU's Hardin Planetarium (ca. 1972).


 A community of faculty, staff, and students engaged in better understanding the physical world. 

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 Last Modified 2/17/22