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Peterson Planetarium

Join us on a journey to the stars and beyond

Celebrating 65 Years! The legacy of the Peterson Planetarium lives on as a testament to the enduring impact of scientific curiosity and educational outreach, leaving an indelible mark on the community and beyond.

At Peterson Planetarium, audiences of all ages can learn about the solar system, gaze at stars and even participate in STEM activities. Our programming serves a variety of community and University audiences.

The planetarium offers educational outreach and serves as a teaching facility for various university courses, as well as local school districts and the community. The theatre seats 38 under a 24-foot projection screen dome. A Spitz 512 star projector was installed in 1996 and the entire facility was renovated in 2014, including the addition of hemispherical mirror projection to provide full dome audio video programming and a supplemental digital projector allowing digital media interaction.


Beginning in March, public programs will return to the Peterson Planetarium! On Thursday, March 7th, 14th and 28th come and enjoy a live night sky tour and the full-dome video presentation, "Dancing Among the Stars" - A program about the seasons and other cool stuff!

Program start time will be at 4:00 pm in the Peterson Planetarium (Science Hall 031). Please arrive 10 minutes prior and plan to be in the planetarium for approximately one hour. Our shows are free and open to the public and appropriate for ages 5 and up. A $25 group donation is suggested.

We also take special requests such as K-12 classes or after-school programs, university or community groups, birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, pre-game, and campus tours.

In the event of inclement or severe weather, planetarium shows may be cancelled at the discretion of the planetarium director and/or Emporia State University Public Safety personnel. We will attempt to contact you in the event cancellation is warranted.

In order that we do not overbook, you must make a reservation on the planetarium shows page. For all other inquiries or special events/requests, please contact us via email at or by calling 620-341-5636.

About the Planetarium

Learn more about the planetarium, our history, and more.

Learn More


Watch live with us as a total solar eclipse moves across North America on April 8, 2024. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk. Mark Brown, director of Emporia State University’s Peterson Planetarium, will live stream the total eclipse from the Indianapolis area.

Provided the weather is favorable, the live stream will begin at 12:40 p.m. CDT (1:40 p.m. EDT) and end at 3:25 p.m. CDT (4:25 p.m. EDT).

You can view the live stream at

WARNING: In the Emporia area, only 88% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. Only those who are in the direct path of totality will be able to briefly view the eclipse directly as the Moon moves in front of the Sun. From Emporia it will not be safe to look directly at the Sun at any time without specialized eye protection for solar viewing. Indirect viewing methods, such as pinhole projectors, can also be used to experience an eclipse. For more on how to safely view this eclipse visit

Star Parties!

The Peterson Planetarium hosts Star Parties to look at visible planets and the moon. Dates and locations are determined by the moon phase and clouds in the sky.

Planetarium Shows

The Planetarium has several shows open to the public from Astronomy to Earth and Physical Science. Check them out by selecting the link below!

Planetarium Programs