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Planetarium Shows

Visit the planets, travel to a black hole, observe spinning galaxies or study the Earth from space in the Virginia Living Museum’s 71-seat Abbitt Planetarium Theater. Using our state-of-the-art digital full-screen projection system, we can recreate the many wonders of the universe, including the stars and constellations of the sky for any season of the year – all from the comfort of an armchair.

All daytime programs cost $4 plus Museum admission. VLM members are admitted free to day-time programs.

The Abbitt Planetarium is open:

Memorial Day through Labor Day: Daily

October through May: Wednesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays

Planetarium is closed for annual maintenance in September


List of Shows

Virginia Skies

Ongoing: days and times vary. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Explore the evening skies above Virginia in this classic planetarium presentation. A staff astronomer will discuss seasonal constellations as well as any planets visible. Additional topics may be explored depending on celestial happenings around the time of your visit.

The Friendly Stars

January 2 – May 26: Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and under, accompanied by an adult

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Introduce your little astronomer to the wonders of the sky with this gentle and interactive program for preschoolers. One of our staff astronomers, with some help from our friendly Sun character Sol and the chatty stars of the night sky, will guide you and your little ones on a journey from day to night and show you some of the exciting things you can find just by looking up. An excellent “first experience” program for children before coming on their first field trip with their kindergarten class.

Laser Retro

Now through May 26. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and above

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Totally awesome! Let our lasers take you back to the LaseRetroLogo02days of leg warmers, big hair and excellent music! Fun for the whole family, you’ll rock on to music from great ’80s bands like New Order, The Cure and way more. Astonishing laser art is coupled with upbeat rock and pop songs from one of the most exciting periods in mainstream music: the ‘80s! Like, don’t miss it.

Please note that daytime shows will feature a reduced playlist for time considerations. Song selections determined by the operator.

This program is family-friendly: Inappropriate song lyrics have been eliminated or blanked.

Show Playlist

  1. Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider
  2. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
  3. One Thing Leads to Another by The Fixx
  4. Message in a Bottle by The Police
  5. Blue Monday by New Order
  6. Rio by Duran Duran
  7. Life in a Northern Town by The Dream Academy
  1. Never Let Me Down Again by Depeche Mode
  2. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by Eurythmics
  3. Just Like Heaven by The Cure
  4. She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby
  5. Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream) by Icicle Works
  6. New Sensation by INXS
  7. Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Eclipse 2017

Now through Sept. 4. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 10 and above

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The Great American Eclipse is coming! In August, the United States will experience a rare and marvelous event – a  total eclipse of the Sun. Join us for this timely program that will give you all the information you need to know about how, when and where to view this astronomical spectacle safely.

Laser Pop

May 27 – June 30. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The hottest pop artists and the latest laser art come together in a sensational, eye-POPping laser show that will have your heart thumping and your feet tapping! Laser Pop features sizzling stars, both past and present, in brilliant laser light. It’s an amazing mix of hits from great bands like The Beach Boys, Smashmouth, N’Sync, Pink and many more!

This program is family-friendly: Inappropriate song lyrics have been eliminated or blanked.

Show Playlist

  • Pop–N’Sync
  • Get This Party Started–Pink
  • Beatles Medley–The Beatles
  • I’m A Believer–Smashmouth
  • Desert Rose–Sting
  • Beach Boys Medley–The Beach Boys
  • Cosmic Thing–The B52’s
  • Digital Get Down–N’Sync
  • Kryptonite–3 Doors Down

Oasis in Space

May 27 – July 9. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 8 and up

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Water: our most precious resource. Without it, life could not exist on our planet. Is the reverse also true? If we search for water, will we also find life? Stunning imagery will captivate you as we journey to, and sometimes even below, the surfaces of our neighbor worlds to discover whether life might be possible beyond our home planet. Oasis in Space takes you on a startling and beautiful journey through our Solar System and beyond in search of water and water worlds like Earth. Incorporating the latest results of astronomical research and exploration, including recent data from robot explorers, Oasis in Space offers a new perspective on a substance of obvious importance to our planet.

Oasis in Space is the first in a series of fulldome video programs for Spitz’s ElectricSky theaters to be entirely produced using original 3D computer animation. With a proven, audience-tested story, visually immersive imagery and an original surround-sound musical score, Oasis in Space will inform, delight and entertain viewers of all ages.

 

Saturn: The Ringworld

May 27 – Sept. 4. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 10 and up

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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September 15th, the Cassini spacecraft will end its 20-year odyssey with a spectacular plunge into Saturn.  Join us in the planetarium as we celebrate the incredibly successful Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its rings and moons.  Featuring some of the intrepid spacecraft’s best images, you won’t want to miss this stunning fulldome presentation.

Kaluoka’hina

May 27 – Sept. 4. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The colorful inhabitants of Kaluoka’hina, Kaluoka-hina an enchanted reef with magic to protect against humans finding it, live in peace until a volcano erupts and the spell is broken. Can a young sawfish and his pal restore the magic?

Into the Deep

July 15

Recommended: ages 10 and above.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Dive with the pioneers of deep-sea research on their journeys of discovery, on the most famous submersibles in history, to come face-to-face with the fascinating creatures that survive where no life was ever expected.

The deep sea is one of the most mysterious and little-explored regions of Earth. We know more about the surface of the Moon than we do about the wonders hidden beneath the waves of our planet’s seas. The deepest parts of our oceans teem with life forms so strange-looking they could be from the realm of science fiction. These fantastic creatures inhabit a realm of underwater volcanoes, engulfed mountain ranges, and vast trenches cut into the crust of the planet.

Into the Deep is a exciting, engaging and engrossing exploration of Earth’s oceans, using the immersive power of the dome theater to transport audiences to the spectacular hidden depths of our home planet.

Spirit of America

July 1- July 31. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and up

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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Join us in the Abbitt Planetarium for a celebration of America. Spirit of America mixes great patriotic music with America-inspired rock & roll and songs that have defined American music. Rock on to great artists like John Fogerty, Garth Brooks, Lee Greenwood and so many, many more.

This program made possible by Heck Industries.

Show Playlist

  • God Bless America by Celine Dion
  • Hoedown by Aaron Copeland
  • Centerfield by John Fogerty
  • Fifties Medley by Various Artists
  • The Star Spangled Banner by KISS
  • The World’s Greatest by R. Kelly
  • Servicemen on Parade by Aaron Copeland
  • Standing Outside the Fire by Garth Brooks
  • Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp
  • Only in America by Brooks & Dunn
  • State Medley by Various Artists
  • God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood

Solar System Odyssey

July 22 – Sept 4. Check the calendar.

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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“Solar System Odyssey” is a character-driven adventure set in the future, in a time when humans have depleted the resources of their home planet. A business tycoon recruits our hero, Jack Larson, on a mission to discover a new home for humans to colonize. The journey takes Jack, an important stowaway, and you on an exciting exploration of our cosmic neighborhood, including the icy rings of Saturn, Jupiter’s volcano-ridden moon Io and the sub-zero methane lakes of Saturn’s moon Titan. Can humans find another place to settle before the Earth becomes unlivable? And what will happen to our home planet?  Find out in this wild solar system adventure! This program made possible by The Morehead Planetarium and NASA.

Laser U2

Aug 1 – Sept 4. Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 6 and above

Cost: VLM members free, non-members $4 plus Museum admission.

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The ultimate band from Ireland’s ultimate laser show! Featuring classic U2 hits like “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “New Year’s Day,” “October” and many, many more, this show will astound you with its awesome laser effects!

 

 

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Special Thanks to the British Fulldome Institute for the use of planetarium shows and clips.