Public Show Schedule 2018


For up-to-the-minute information about ISU Planetarium offerings, call the planetarium hotline at (309) 438-5007 day or night. Listen for announcements regarding programs and activities planned in cooperation with the Twin City Amateur Astronomers.

August-September 2019

The newly re-envisioned Illinois State University Planetarium is taking a break in August, with no public shows. However, we return in September with a great line-up of new shows and events.

The first show premiering in September is The Sun, Our Living Star. Program times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, running from September 6 - November 23. There is no show on September 20 or October 25 - 26.

The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life.

The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky – day by day, month by month – was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilizations. Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined.

Discover the secrets of our star and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format. The Sun, Our Living Star is a visually striking planetarium show about the most important star in our lives.

The second show premiering in September is Distant Worlds — Alien Life? Program times are Saturdays at 2:00 PM, running from September 7 - November 23. There is no show on September 21 or October 26.

Looking into the night sky we view infinity. Could alien life exist out there somewhere?

Distant Worlds investigates the conditions required for life, beginning with planets and moons in our Solar System and venturing out to some of the newly-discovered exoplanets orbiting other stars.

Potentially habitable exoplanets are now being discovered regularly – worlds that are not only very far away, but also strange and unfamiliar. What might life on these worlds look like? What are the chances of encountering intelligent life in the future and how might we detect it?

After each program, we explore highlights found in the current evening sky; including the bright stars, constellations, and planets visible from Central Illinois.

The freshly remodeled Illinois State University Planetarium includes an entirely new layout for the star theater, new seating, updated lighting system, and expanded video and sound capability. Join us and discover the unimaginable secrets of the Universe!

Stargazers: the Twin City Amateur Astronomers are hosting a public-viewing session at their Sugar Grove Observatory, from 8:30-10:30 PM on August 10 (weather permitting). The star gazing session is free and open to all.

The Observatory is locate at the Sugar Grove Nature Center, in Funks Grove, Illinois. Please visit the TCAA's website for more information.

While on the ISU campus, visit the Fell Arboretum! To learn more about the free self-guided tree-walk, please visit the Illinois State University’s Fell Arboretum web site and download a free map!

Teachers and community group leaders: Are you interested in bringing your students or group to the Illinois State University Planetarium? If so then please call the Planetarium about special presentations at (309) 438-8756 on Monday through Friday, during regular business hours!

Admission and Policies

Tickets for the ISU Planetarium's regular public shows may be purchased in the Planetarium's Gift Shop beginning 20 minutes before each show. The Gift Shop is located next to the Planetarium.

Planetarium seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Admission for the Plantarium's regular public shows is:

Preschoolers (Ages 3-4) . . . $ 3.00
Children (Ages 5-12) . . . $ 4.00
Adults (Ages 13-59 ) . . . $ 5.00
Seniors (Ages 60 and older) . . . $ 4.00
University faculty, staff, students . . . $ 4.00
Planetarium Friends . . . Free

Cash or checks only. Sorry, but no debit or credit cards accepted.

If you are interested in scheduling a private show for your school or social group then please call the Illinois State University Planetarium about special presentations at (309) 438-8756 on Monday through Friday, during regular business hours. Special rates are generally available!



The white-domed Illinois State University Planetarium is located at the east end of Felmley Hall of Science, on the corner of College Avenue and School Street in Normal. Please see the map below.



Free parking for the ISU Planetarium's weekend programs is available a short distance from the Planetarium in the University’s red-tag F-67 parking lot, located on the east side of School Street. Please see the map below for the location of the F-67.


Updated July 30, 2019.

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