Public planetarium programs are open again!
In 2022, the Chesapeake Planetarium will celebrate its 60th year of operation. Construction funds for the planetarium were provided by the Chesapeake School Board as a result of the National Defense Education Act (NDEA). It was the first planetarium constructed in Virginia by a public school system. It was designed as a teaching aid for the school system, but has been made available to the general public as well. More than 50,000 students and adults visit the planetarium each year to view educational programs.
The Chesapeake Planetarium is located in the Chesapeake Municipal Center. It is easily reached by taking Interstate 64 and exiting at the Battlefield Boulevard South Exit (Rt. 168). Follow Route 168 to Great Bridge and turn right onto Cedar Road (Rt. 165).The Municipal Center is one-fourth mile on the right.
Public Programs 2022: Programs are free but reservations are necessary – call 757-547-0153
On Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m., the general public is invited to attend free programs. These programs are provided as a free service of the Chesapeake Public School System. Topics for these programs change every month and are educational in nature. They are designed to give the individual a general overview of astronomy.
* It is recommended that children below the first grade level not be admitted to the planetarium chamber. All quiet children are welcome. Children that are not quiet will asked to be removed from the planetarium.
Due to limited seating, reservations are necessary and may be made by telephoning Chesapeake Public Schools between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. weekdays. (757-547-0153)
Note: Your reservations will cancel if arriving later than 7:50 p.m.
Note: Programs start promptly at 8:00 p.m. and late arrivals are not allowed to enter the dark theater.
Please make reservations for all program by calling 547-0153. The reservation desk will know of any additional closings if necessary.
Planetarium Public Programs
Programs for 2022
January – Winter Sky
Some of the brightest stars seen from Earth are visible in the winter sky. The constellations of this season are easy to identify. The mythology associated with them offers some of the best star stories found among the stars. Explore the crisp clear winter night sky this month in the planetarium star theater.
February – Mars Invasion
There has been an invasion! Planet Earth has invaded Mars. Several robots have landed and explored the surface of our red planet neighbor. View some of the images taken by our robots and explore why Mars will be the first planet beyond Earth to be visited by humans.
March – Cosmic Symphony
View the wonders of the night sky while listening to stereophonic music in the planetarium star theater. Selections of classical and pop music will be played on the planetarium’s powerful sound system while cosmic visuals dance before your eyes. This program allows your imagination to wander among the stars.
April – Night of the Blood Moon
A total lunar eclipse will be visible in your backyard in May. Learn why eclipsed happen and how to observe and photograph these amazing astronomical events.
May – Deep Sky Wonders
Explore some of the objects in the night sky that are only visible to those who know how to find them. Some are visible without any optical aid while others require a telescope. We will also view some of the constellations of the spring sky.
June – The Mystery of Stonehenge
Almost 4000 years ago a tribe of barbarians built a large stone structure for some unknown reason. The circle of stone may have been a pagan temple, burial site or maybe a Stone Age computer for predicting astronomical events. We will explore the stone circle and search for alignments of stars and planets.
July & August – The Summer Stars
The wonders of the summer sky will be our program topic. We will display the stars and planets of the summer sky and some of the mythology associated with them. On clear nights after the planetarium program visitors may have an opportunity to view through the planetarium’s large telescope. (weather permitting)
*The planetarium will be operating on a summer schedule. Call the reservation number for show dates and times.
September – The Astronomical Zodiac
Explore the constellations of the zodiac and see if they are really different from the other constellations in the night sky. How are the zodiac constellations formed and what makes them unique.
October – Solar System Tour
Take an imaginary trip to the planets. We will explore each planet using some of the latest images taken by space probes. More than 200 moons in our solar system will also be part of our space to
November – Orion Returns
In the winter sky some of the most famous star stores can be found among the stars. The giant Orion returns to rule the night sky. The mythology of the winter constellations has given us reasons why the winter moon is the brightest and the winter nights are cold and dark. Learn how to become a backyard astronomer identifying the constellations and see Orion return.
December – The Christmas Star
During the month of December the Chesapeake Planetarium sky will be set back more than 2000 years to the date of 8 B.C. Visitors will view the planets and stars as they were long ago. We will search the night sky for the story of a star that marked the coming of the Christmas season. We will also explore some of the astronomical possibilities suggested for the most famous star in history.
Public program start promptly at 8:00 p.m.
Reservations are required…. 757- 547-0153
Reservations are held until 7:50 p.m. Late arrivals are not admitted.