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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 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. Tickets are available at the front desk.

The Abbitt Planetarium is open daily. 


List of Shows

Skies of Jamestown

January 19 – May 10: days and times vary. Check the calendar.

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

Skies of Jamestown photoImagine yourself on a ship on the open sea. No land in sight in any direction. At night, the only light comes from the brilliant stars shining high above. Those stars are vital to your survival. Without them, you have no hope of finding your way safely to the land called the New World. Thus it was for the men who made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic Ocean from England to Virginia. And when they landed on this virgin shore, they still looked to the sky, and the stars, that reminded them of the home they had left behind. This program includes a live discussion of the stars, planets and other heavenly bodies we see today in skies above Jamestown.

Kaluoka'hina

Dates: May 11 – September 2

Times: Check the calendar.

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

Kaluoka-hinaThe vastness of our planet’s oceans guards unimaginable secrets. One of its most precious is “Kaluoka’hina”, the enchanted reef whose magic protects it against humans finding it. Kaluoka’hina’s colorful inhabitants have thus always lived in peace…until the volcano erupts, and the spell is broken.

Now it’s up to the young sawfish Jake and his paranoid pal Shorty to restore the magic of Kaluoka’hina. Their only lead: the ancient legend that tells of touching the moon. But how is a fish supposed to touch the moon? This is just one of the intriguing puzzles that Jake and Shorty have to solve on their most exciting adventure ever: the quest to save their beloved reef.

The Zula Patrol

Dates: February 25-28 (times vary). Check the calendar.

Recommended: ages 9 and below accompanied by an adult

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

The stalwart heroes of The Zula Patrol are on an expedition collecting samples of weather for Multo’s research – using their loyal pet Gorga’s ability to collect and bottle all kinds of weather. When one member of The Zula Patrol inadvertently hurts Gorga’s feelings, he decides to leave Zula and find a planet in the Solar System on which to live. Interplanetary villain Dark Truder, along with his talking toupee, Traxie, takes advantage of the situation to trick Gorga into helping him take the weather from the Solar System planets – part of this latest nefarious scheme to rule the Universe (and find the legendary Kaboobie Ruby). The Zula Patrol discovers Dark Truder’s plan and goes after him – discovering all about weather in the process, both terrestrial and interplanetary.

Astronaut

Dates: May 1-10, May 25 – September 2 (not showing August 10). Check the calendar.

Times: 12:30pm

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

The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut?

Astronaut, the latest immersive planetarium show to be created by the National Space Center, takes you from Earth into space… and beyond.

Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body. Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him.

Presented in stunning high definition 360 degree Full dome video and explosive surround sound, Astronaut is an experience like nothing on Earth.

A Giant Leap: Exploration Beyond the Moon

March 2 – May 10: days and times vary. Check the calendar.

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

This fulldome program, narrated by Tim Allen, looks back at the history of lunar exploration and then at some of the teams racing to land a robotic spacecraft on the moon and win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. See a successful launch, landing and tour of the lunar surface, and a visualization of a future settlement on the moon.

The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. See what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. See the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. The show highlights the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.

Recommended: ages 10 and above.
Made possible by the X Prize Foundation

Virginia Skies

Ongoing: days and times vary. Check the calendar.

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

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

Dates: April 8 – May 24. Check the calendar.

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

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.

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