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 August 2016 include the following:


SOLAR SUPERSTORMS
Explore the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the Sun's fury in the form of flares, solar tornadoes, and the most violent explosions in the solar system: Coronal Mass Ejections or CMEs. This stunningly beautiful show features the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of a star, including groundbreaking simulations computed on the giant new supercomputer, Blue Waters. Brace yourself… for Solar Superstorms. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
(Through August, 2016 / General Audiences)


TWO SMALL PIECES OF GLASS - THE AMAZING TELESCOPE
While attending a local star party, two teenagers learn how the amazing telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a female astronomer enlightens them on the history of telescopes, 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. Through the eyes of these two young students, the planetarium audience will explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, spiral structure of galaxies and more. Soundtrack by the London Symphony Orchestra.
(Through August, 2016 / Family Audiences)


ONE WORLD, ONE SKY - BIG BIRD'S ADVENTURE
Take a magical, musical journey to the Moon and back with Big Bird and friends, while learning about the Sun and stars along the way. You'll be greeted by some familiar Sesame Street faces and even meet some new ones, as we learn bright stars and basic star patterns recognized around the world!
(Through August, 2016 / Ages 3-6)


SEASONAL STARGAZING
Presentations of Two Small Pieces of Glass & Solar Superstorms include this short guided tour of the evening sky, updated regularly to reflect the changes that occur from one season to the next. Learn the names of the bright stars and how to find your way among the constellations. Free monthly sky charts are provided.
(Through August, 2016 / General Audiences)
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. 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 August 2016 include the following:


LASERS OF OZ
Enjoy the most enchanting musical numbers from the beloved 1939 film, "The Wizard of OZ." Colorful laser animation brings new life to Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Witches (good and bad), as well as the great and powerful Oz himself.
(May 28, 29 & 31 only)


LASER SPIRIT OF AMERICA
Dazzling laser graphics and animation in a musical tribute to life in the USA. Featured musical artists include KISS, R. Kelly, Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Greenwood, Celine Dion and more.
(June, 2016)


LASER BEATLES
Charming animation and psychedelic laser visuals celebrate the musical phenomenon that included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Return to a more innocent time with tracks including “Octopus’s Garden,” “Help!,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Get Back,” “Yesterday,” and “Strawberry Fields.”
(July, 2016)


LASER FLOYD - DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
Musical selections for this month’s laser show are from Pink Floyd’s groundbreaking 1973 classic rock album “Dark Side of the Moon,” frequently sited as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. Tracks include “Time,” “Money,” “Us & Them” “On the Run,” and more.
(August, 2016)


LASER 101
Find out how lasers work from the Planetarium’s resident expert! A highly excitable electron presents this brief but informative demonstration before your monthly featured Laser Show.
Planetarium Weekly Schedule through August 2016
Tuesday-Friday: 1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Two Small Pieces of Glass - The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Light Show (changes monthly)
Solar Superstorms
Saturday: 11:00 am
1:00 pm
2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
One World, One Sky - Big Bird’s Adventure
Two Small Pieces of Glass - The Amazing Telescope
Solar Superstorms
Laser Light Show (changes monthly)
Solar Superstorms
Sunday: 2:00 pm
3:00 pm
4:00 pm
Solar Superstorms
Laser Light Show (changes monthly)
Solar Superstorms