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Robert K. Wickware Planetarium

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The Robert K. Wickware Planetarium is a 50-seat facility used for teaching astronomy courses, as well as a popular site for public and private star shows.  The planetarium is named for Dr. Robert K. Wickware, Eastern faculty member for 33 years and an active member of the community. He was “an enthusiastic advocate for teaching children the wonder of science.” 

  • University Classes: All students taking Astronomy courses have the opportunity to use the facility. Students taking the Astronomy minor learn to produce and present planetarium shows and how to use projection systems such as the state-of-the-art Spitz System 512 Star Projector. 
  • Public Shows: Special star shows are presented for public audiences (see schedule below) three or four times per semester. If the weather permits, telescopes are set up outside for free viewing.  Shows are free, but tickets are required to reserve seats.
  • School and Scouting Groups: Bring your class or scout troop on a tour of the Universe! See the wonders of our solar system; learn about the night sky; and much, much more. All shows are free of charge.  Limited times are available, so book early. 
  • Community and Business Groups: Is your community group or work team looking for a unique experience? Why not consider a lunch hour or late afternoon star show at the Wickware Planetarium. The shows are free of charge; however, a small donation to the Eastern Science Club would be greatly appreciated. 

Useful Information

  • Please email Russell D. Sampson at for a free brochure or free tickets to the next show. Our shows are free, but seating is very limited.  Please get a ticket to reserve your seat.

    Fall 2019 Schedule

    Mon. September 9, 5:30 p.m.
    Fall Skies and Space Update
    Learn what stars and planets are visible, plus the hottest news from astronomy and space exploration.

    Mon. October 21, 5:30 p.m.
    The November 11 Transit of Mercury
    Join us on Monday October 21 at 5:30 p.m. where you'll learn all about this rare astronomical event. On the morning and early afternoon of Monday November 11 the diminutive planet Mercury will cross the face of the sun. Professor Sampson will show you what happens, when it happens and why it's so rare. The public planetarium shows are intended for ages 10 and above.  The show is about an hour long, depending on the Q&A at the end - so bring your questions.

    Mon. November 25, 5:30 p.m.
    The Earth and the Sun
    With all the record heat we’ve had some of you may be asking; “Is the sun to blame?” Find out how the earth is affected by the sun – from climate change to the northern lights to global blackouts.

  • The Wickware Planetarium is located across from the front of the Eugene Smith Library and is building #26 on the Campus Map.
  • The Shakespeare and Cervantes Parking Garages, locations P & Q on the Parking Map, provide the best parking options.  Spaces are free, but temporary parking permits may be required.  Request additional information when scheduling an event or requesting a reservation.

  • The planetarium is open for bookings during the fall and spring semesters (except holidays).  It is closed during intersession (approximately December 20 to January 20) and during the summer break (approximately May 10 to September 15).

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Please be aware that the dark setting of the planetarium may not be suitable to children under 7 years of age.
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Dr. Zoran Pazameta
Director of Planetarium
Science Building Rm. 456
(860) 465-6300

School & Scout Shows info requests
Dr. Russell Sampson
Asst. Director of Planetarium
Science Building Rm.268/451
(860) 465-0188

Public Star Shows schedule
Interior image of planetarium lecture
 Interior image of planetarium lecture
Professor Sampson in Planetarium with star background