What is a planetarium?
A planetarium is a domed theater. Instead of a rectangular screen in front of you, as in a regular movie theater, the dome overhead is the screen. Our seats tilt you back so you may comfortably view the show or presentation. A planetarium offers a unique and immersive experience you cannot get at just any movie theater venue. There are no telescopes to look through at the planetarium, but you may visit an observatory to do so.
Why do you charge separate admission?
Planetarium admission is separate from regular museum admission. This policy has been in place for the nearly 60 years of planetarium operation. Our revenue comes solely from ticket sales. That income goes towards maintenance costs, equipment upgrades, and new content for your enjoyment. A family of five can enjoy everything Morrill Hall has to offer and see a regular fulldome planetarium show for less than $50! Click here for more information on Morrill Hall admission.
Why must children be at least 4 years old to be admitted?
Children must be at least 4 years old to attend a public planetarium show. The planetarium is not a suitable environment for children younger than 4. With overhead motion and occasional loud sounds during a show, all in a dark room, the experience can be overwhelming. Furthermore, this planetarium does not have content designed exclusively for such a young age group. We recommend waiting until your child is old enough to make your visit to Mueller Planetarium a fun and memorable one.
Why can I not come into the planetarium after a scheduled show begins? Why can't I get back in if I leave during the show?
The planetarium is different from a regular movie theater, with motion presented overhead and around you. This makes for a more immersive and unique experience. However, this motion is enough to make you dizzy or disoriented and you will not find your way to the seats safely during a show. Additionally, your eyes will not adjust to the sudden change in overall lighting between the lobby and theater. If you plan on attending one of our shows, please give yourself ample time to find parking, visit the restroom, etc., before the show begins. Theater doors open 10 minutes prior to show time and close promptly at scheduled time.
What is your refund policy?
You may receive a refund on a planetarium show ticket before show time. If you purchase tickets and are late to a show, however, you may not enter the theater (as explained above). You will also not receive a refund if the show has already begun. You may exchange your ticket for another show that day only, but a refund will not be issued. If you purchase tickets and have concerns about making the show on time, we advise you either plan accordingly to arrive on schedule or seek a refund before the show begins.
Why can't I see the planetarium when there's not a show going on?
When there is no show or presentation taking place in the planetarium, there's not much to see except a dark room.
Why don't you always have public shows during the week?
During the fall, winter, & spring seasons, we are presenting planetarium shows for school groups visiting from across the state. There are occasions when public shows are running during the week, including the summer season. Please check our main page for the current show date & time listings before planning your visit.
Where are the best seats?
Generally, sitting from the middle to the back of the theater gives you a better view of the planetarium show.