Public Program Schedule

2017-2018 Public Program Schedule

*All programs include live star and constellation indentification.




Show Descriptions

Signature Shows

The night sky changes with the seasons, and so does our Skywatch program. This LIVE traditional star talk shows the current night sky, constellation lore, and current astronomical events.

Nightlights 3.0
The Ward Beecher Planetarium’s spooky and spectacular annual Halloween spectacular has been going strong since 1974! This year, there are new songs and old favorites.  Come in costume!  Great for all ages, although younger visitors might be scared of the loud music and dark.

Night-LITE *NEW*
It is our popular light and music extravaganza, presented in a fun, non-scary style, making this show ideal for all ages. COME IN COSTUME!

Let It Snow! *NEW*
A holiday music show celebrating the winter season. Artistic impressions of popular winter holiday music come to life on the dome transporting the entire family to a magical wonderland of music and light. Experience bells and reindeer, presents and cookies, snow and nutcrackers in colorful spectacles of fun!

Journey to a Billion Suns
The age-old history of measuring the stars and a stunning journey through our Milky Way merge in a modern astronomy show about stars, space science, and the distances in the Universe.  Journey has a thrilling story, amazing 3D graphics, and great music for a full omnidirectional experience!

Moons: Worlds of Mystery *NEW*
When you consider the solar system, you often think of the Sun and its planets. But what about moons? What role do they play? Delve into what they look like and how they contribute to our knowledge of the solar system in Moons: Worlds of Mystery! It explores hundreds of these known satellites throughout the solar system, orbiting five other planets and even some asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects.

Produced by Mirage3D and Koenig Films, “SEEING!” follows a photon’s creation and journey across the galaxy to a young stargazer’s eye. The viewer follows the photon into the girl’s eye, learning the structures of the eye and their functions prior to taking a ride on the optic nerve. “Seeing!” is narrated by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, cosmologist, and author.

Oasis in Space
Oasis In Space transports the audience on a startling and beautiful voyage through our universe, galaxy and solar system in search of liquid water - a key ingredient for life on Earth. Oasis In Space will delight viewers of all ages.

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph
The show looks at the basics of spectroscopy, the fascinating way astronomers learn about what makes up stars and galactic and extragalactic gas. It also explores the use of quasars as background light sources.

Family Shows

Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda
Children and adults will enjoy this animated show where Aesop the owl leads you on a light-hearted journey as you look at the Greek mythology associated with some of our constellations. This includes stories behind the mighty warrior Perseus, beautiful princess Andromeda, Cetus the terrible sea monster.

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure *NEW*
Big Bird’s Adventure begins on Sesame Street when Elmo’s friend Hu Hu Zhu visits from China. Big Bird, Elmo, and Hu Hu Zhu take viewers on an exciting discovery of the Sun, Moon, and stars. They learn about the Big Dipper and the North Star and take an imaginary trip to the Moon.  Celebrate with Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu the idea that even though we live in different countries, we still share the same sky.

Legends of the Night Sky: Orion
Aesop the owl continues his journey in a light-hearted adventure as you look at the Greek mythology associated with some of our constellations. This includes stories behind Orion the hunter, and Scorpio the scorpion!

Earth, Moon, and Sun *NEW*
Coyote has a razor sharp wit, but he’s a little confused about what he sees in the sky.  Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles.  Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun also examines how humans learn through space exploration.

Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum
Discover the many reasons for color—like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red.  Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye.  Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back at your doctor’s office.  You will even see the actual color of a dinosaur based on recent evidence.  Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light!

Lecture Series

The Ward Beecher Planetarium is proud to introduce our new lecture series: astronomers will visit for LIVE presentations on the latest fascinating findings on a wide variety of topics!

Galileo, Shakespeare, van Gogh:  Creative Reactions to the End of the World - Nov. 3rd
Dr. Bill Harris, Professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON explores how Galileo's discoveries such as the size of the universe have resonated over the past 4 centuries.  These discoveries have profoundly changed the fields of art and literature and of our thinking beyond our world. For General Audiences.

A Quark's Life - March 23rd
Dr. Jane Charlton from the Pennsylvania State University debuts the remarkable story of "Herbert the up quark", who currently resides in the right frontal lobe of her brain.  Follow Herbert's journey through the 13.8 billion year history of the Universe, from the quark soup, to the core of a star, to a huge explosion, to an alien world, and to the era of the dinosaurs.   This program is suitable for general audiences.

Special Events

Opening Weekend - Sept 22nd & 23rd
Help us kick off our 50th anniversary right on September 23 and 24! Pick out your favorite planetarium show and we will show it to you!

Harry Potter Weekend - Sept 29th & 30th
Join us for a magical weekend as we celebrate all things Harry Potter!  Learn about the night sky and how it relates to the wizarding world.  Test your knowledge for a chance to earn house points.  Who will win this year’s house cup?
Seating is first come, first seated.

So You Want to Buy a Telescope/So You Got a Telescope - Nov 11th
The Mahoning Valley Astronomical Society (MVAS) has been offering help and advice the past few years to telescope owners. 
So You Want to Buy a Telescope returns on Saturday, November 11 to help you make wise choices when it comes to the purchase of your own telescope. This program will be held from 1-3 p.m and you can drop in anytime in the two hours.

So You Got a Telescope takes place on Saturday - Jan 13th.
People are invited to bring their new scopes (and ones that have been gathering dust) and have one-on-one time with the MVAS experts. This program will be held from 1-3 p.m and you can drop in anytime in the two hours.

Visitor Appreciation Weekend - May 25th & 26th
As a big THANK YOU for a great year, you get an encore: vote for any of our shows on this year’s schedule, and we will run it one more time!