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John C. Wells Planetarium

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JMU Star Party at Astronomy Park will return in the fall!
Astronomy Park Star Party

Public Star Parties

Take place monthly, Sept thru April, at JMU's Astronomy Park. Located on the meadow behind the Physics/Chemistry building on JMU's campus east of I-81.

Spectators watching Planetarium show

FREE Shows EVERY Saturday

Join us every Saturday afternoon, Sept. thru June, followed by solar observing. All seats are FREE and are available on a first come, first seated basis.

Using a sun spotter during space camp

Space Explorers Camp

Two week-long summer space exploration camps this July! A residential explorers camp from July 6 to July 13, and a day space explorers camp from July 21 to July 25. Registration is OPEN!

Sun's surface

Have a look at the sun

On Saturday afternoons, sky conditions permitting, the planetarium provides special solar telescopes for looking at the Sun. Come see the sun in a way you have not seen it before.

John C. Wells Planetarium

Visiting the John C. Wells Planetarium

The John C. Wells Planetarium is a $2 million, state-of-the-art hybrid facility, the only one of its kind in the world. It hosts both an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5 digital projection system and a Goto Chronos opto-mechanical star projector that provides visitors with a superior and realistic night sky. Our digital system allows us to present unique full dome movies as well as project the multi-wavelength universe on the dome. Our Goto Chronos starball allows us to project an authentic night sky for any location on the Earth’s surface, across the past 100,000 years.

The Planetarium has 72 seats, offers free Saturday afternoon public shows, from September thru to the end of June, but is also available for use mid-week by school groups and community groups (i.e., church groups, girl guides/boy scouts, etc.) at no charge by reservation. View our current schedule to determine availability. Fill out the reservation request form to book your group! The planetarium is also available for private functions (i.e., weddings, birthday parties, etc.). Please email the planetarium director for further details.


Following each full-dome film presentation on Saturdays at 1pm, 2:15pm & 3:30pm, we will raise our incredible Goto Chronos starball and highlight the Valley sky! We will show you the stars, planets and constellations you can see in your backyard sky later that night! If it is sunny, we will also have our solar telescopes set-up outside! See the Sun as the active, dynamic star that it is instead of the pale yellow dot drawn by kids! Don't miss out on seeing our STAR in a safe way that will leave in mesmerized! ALL FREE!

Planetarium Projector with toy doll positioned in front of itGetting Here

Saturday Matinées

Planetary Visions
John C. Wells Planetarium
Saturday 1 p.m. FREE!

Planetary Visions is a fantastic, interactive program that is best described as an adventurous tour of the Solar System. With its whimsical, flying robot main character, Toggle, and the interactivity of the operator with the show and the audience, this is a treat for all who attend. See the trailer

Seven Wonders
John C. Wells Planetarium
Saturday 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. FREE!

Turn back the pages of time and witness the ancient wonders of the world as they appeared thousands of years ago. Travel to Egypt to visit the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Great Pyramids, to Persia to see the original Mausoleum, to Babylon to explore the fabled Hanging Gardens, to Greece to tour the Temples of Zeus and Artemis, and to Rhodes to stand in the shadow of the towering Colossus. We will investigate the theories of how these wonders were created, and get a glimpse of some of the universe's greatest wonders. See the trailer


Popular misconceptions debunked on our YouTube channel.

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