The Cummins Planetarium
The Cummins Planetarium, housed at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, first opened its doors in the Spring of 2006, making it the first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome video projection system. The planetarium also features a thirty-foot dome, tilted forward slightly to maximize viewing for audiences of up to 50 people. Admission to all shows is on a first-come, first-served basis. Shows begin promptly, and no late seating or re-admissions are permitted. And remember, planetarium admission is now included with admission to the Children's Museum & Science Center, so you can enjoy all the shows you want during your visit! For 2016, the planetarium proudly features Two Small Pieces of Glass. This show complements the planetarium's Public Star Parties by examining the history and discoveries made using that amazing optical time machine, the telescope. And don't miss Solar Superstorms, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. This amazing show makes a nice introduction to our Sidewalk Astronomy programs, which regularly provide glimpses at the real Sun. Both 2SPoG and Solar Superstorms are accompanied by the mini-show, Seasonal Stargazing. Planetarium shows are not generally recommended for children under five or six years of age, except Big Bird's Adventure, which remains in its Saturday morning time slot as a gentle introduction to the planetarium environment for our youngest visitors.

Public Planetarium Shows through December 2016 include the following:


SOLAR SUPERSTORMS
What are sunspots, prominences and solar flares? And what are the powerful magnetic forces that drive the largest explosions in the solar system, coronal mass ejections? Actor Benedict Cumberbatch narrates this dramatic look at our parent star the Sun.
(Through December 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


TWO SMALL PIECES OF GLASS - THE AMAZING TELESCOPE
Learn how the telescopes have helped us understand our place in space. See just how telescopes work, the discoveries these wonderful tools have made, and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore mysteries of the universe. Explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, spiral structure of galaxies and more. Soundtrack by the London Symphony Orchestra.
(Through November 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


SEASONAL STARGAZING
Stick around after public presentations of Solar Superstorms and Two Small Pieces of Glass, to learn more bright stars and constellations in just a few minutes than many people do in a lifetime. This short guided tour changes seasonally to reflect the changing night sky.
(Included with admission)


BIG BIRD'S ADVENTURE
Take flight with Big Bird and some other Sesame Street friends, on a fun-filled journey to the Moon and back. Along the way, you can sing along while learning about the Sun and stars. Big Bird's Adventure is presented as a gentle introduction to the Planetarium environment for your very youngest.
(Through December 2016, Ages 3-6)


SEASON OF LIGHT
Learn the bright stars and constellations of the winter evening sky and investigate the mystery of the Christmas star, while uncovering the history and astronomy behind holiday celebrations taking place during this special time of year.
(December 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)
Laser light shows in the Cummins Planetarium feature a variety of artists and genres each month whose musical styles are interpreted through the visual wizardry of 3D laser graphics, animation and special effects. PARENTS PLEASE NOTE: Laser Light Shows (and laser show audiences!) may be quite loud and are not recommended for children 6 years of age and under.

Laser Shows through December 2016 include the following:


LASER FLOYD - DSOM
Pink Floyd's groundbreaking 1973 album, Dark Side of the Moon, frequently sited as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, provides the source material for this month?s laser show. Recommended mainly for more mature audiences.
(August 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


LASER CLASSIC ROCK
A rock & roll showcase - the stuff laser shows were invented for! Artist include the Beatles, Freddie Mercury & Queen, Pink Floyd, The Doors, RUSH, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.
(September 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


LASER HALLOWEEN
Rock out to "Monster Mash" and other spooky-kooky favorites including music from Ghostbusters, Weird Science, Beetlejuice, Rocky Horror, and artists including Stevie Wonder, INXS, Danny Elfman, John Williams and more. Join us for a frightfully good time!
(October 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


LASER MICHAEL JACKSON
The King of Pop is gone, but not forgotten. Celebrate the music of Michael Jackson interpreted through the magic of colorful laser graphics and animation. Songs include Bad, Beat It, Thriller, The Way You Make Me Feel, and Man in the Mirror, and others.
(November 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


LASER HOLIDAYS
Laser Holidays has become a perennial family favorite. Ring in the season with your favorite classic and contemporary holiday tunes. Artists include Bing Crosby, Annie Lennox, Vince Geraldi, Manheim Steamroller, and more!
(December 2016, Ages 6 to Adult)


LASER 101
What are lasers, and how do they work? Find out from the Planetarium's expert. A highly excitable electron presents a brief but informative demonstration right before your main feature.
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: July 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Beatles
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Beatles
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Beatles
Solar Superstorms
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: August 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Floyd - DSOM
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Floyd - DSOM
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Floyd - DSOM
Solar Superstorms
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: September 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Classic Rock
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Classic Rock
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Classic Rock
Solar Superstorms
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: October 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Halloween
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Halloween
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Halloween
Solar Superstorms
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: November 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Michael Jackson
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Michael Jackson
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Michael Jackson
Solar Superstorms
Planetarium Weekly Schedule: December 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
The Amazing Telescope
Season of Light
Laser Holidays
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Big Bird's Adventure
The Amazing Telescope
Season of Light
Laser Holidays
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Season of Light
Laser Holidays
Solar Superstorms