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Photo of Planetarium Peterson Planetarium has provided quality programming since 1959 for Emporia State University and the greater Emporia/Lyon County community. The Peterson Planetarium is located in Cram Science Hall on the Emporia State University campus. The Peterson Planetarium is administered through the Departments of Physical Sciences with funds provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Programming at the Peterson Planetarium serves a variety of community and University audiences. About 50 percent of the programs are presented for the interest and enjoyment of community groups. School-age children from the Emporia area and surrounding counties represent the largest group of off-campus patrons of planetarium programming. About 50 percent of planetarium programs are for direct support of instruction in several courses in the physical sciences.

2014 Renovation of the Planetarium - Coming Mid-October!!

Planetarium upgrades will begin on October 13th until tentatively November 10th.  It will still be possible to request shows to be scheduled outside of the upgrade timeframe.


1997 Renovation of the Planetarium

Planetarium projectorOn December 3, 1994 the planetarium and instruments, including the original Spitz Model A-2 star projector, were severely damaged when a main water line on campus ruptured. The water traveled through utility tunnels and flooded the planetarium chamber, which was at the lowest level. A State of Kansas General Building Fund allocation of $500,000 provided funds for the planetarium's restoration, and the Peterson Planetarium was completely renovated during 1996. A reopening dedication occurred in January, 1997.

Planetarium The restored planetarium is designed for a variety of programming. The main instrument is a Spitz System 512planetarium projection system, housed under a 24-foot projection dome. The main projector is supported by a video projection system and a stereophonic sound system. The automation system was upgraded in 2007 to an ATM-4 system developed and installed by Spitz, Incorporated.

Lunar Eclipse coming in October...

Blood Moon

The first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses begins April 15! This series is known as a tetrad and two lunar eclipses are in 2014 and two in 2015.  For a lunar eclipse, Earth passes between the Sun and the Moon, the Earth casts a shadow of itself on the Moon’s surface.  A total lunar eclipse means the entire Moon will be completely shadowed by the Earth. During this total lunar eclipse, the full moon appears to be reddish ..."because the dispersed light from all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falls on the face of the moon" ( and as such, the term Blood Moon.  There will also be two solar eclipses in 2015, but they will not visible in our geographic area. The first two Total Lunar Eclipse in 2014 for Emporia in Central Daylight time are...


October 8

Partial Eclipse begins:  04:14 AM CDT

Total Eclipse begins:    05:25 AM CDT

Greatest Eclipse:         05:54 AM CDT

Total Eclipse ends:      06:24 AM CDT

Partial Eclipse ends:    07:34 AM CDT


 For more information see:


The 5th International Earth & Sky Photo Contest on the importance of Dark Skies! The top prize is a telescope and submission is open until April 22, 2014. See for details.


Finally, check out Globe at Night and consider participating from 20-29 April!

Last Updated 2014-09-02