The Cummins Planetarium, at Rocky Mount’s Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, first opened in the Spring of 2006, making it the first planetarium in North Carolina to feature a full-dome digital video projection system. The planetarium features a thirty-foot dome, tilted forward slightly to maximize viewing for audiences of up to 50 people. Admission to all shows is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission to the Children’s Museum & Science Center includes admission to all public shows that day. Shows begin promptly and, for the safety and comfort of all visitors, no late seating or re-admission is permitted.
Planetarium shows include something for everyone, including: flying dinosaurs, thrill rides, the search for extraterrestrial life, interstellar travel, even Muppets! Public Planetarium Shows through December, 2018, include the following:
Join the search for extraterrestrial life. The search begins with water, something required by all life on Earth. Visit the planets of our solar system, their moons, and beyond, looking for conditions that might support liquid water, and perhaps life. Oasis in Space offers a new perspective on the importance this most precious of resources.
(October-November, 2018 / Ages 6 to Adult)
It has been firmly established that most stars in our galaxy are surrounded by a system of planets. Scientists are racing to find habitable planets in our galactic neighborhood. If we detect one, how might we travel there? Investigate the breakthrough physics, exotic next-generation technologies and fuels that may enable us to achieve the ultra-high speeds required to reach distant Earth-type worlds.
(September-December, 2018 / Ages 7 to Adult)
Returning each year at this time, the rich holiday soundtrack and lovely visuals of Season of Light make this show a perennial family favorite. Learn the bright stars and constellations of the winter night sky, and investigate the mystery of the star of Bethlehem, while uncovering the fascinating history and astronomy behind celebrations taking place during this special time of year.
(December 2018 / Ages 6 to Adult)
Big Bird’s Adventure is intended as a gentle introduction to the Planetarium setting for our very youngest visitors. Join Big Bird and some new Sesame Street friends, on a fun-filled, musical journey to the Moon and back. Along the way you can sing along, while learning about the Sun and stars.
(September-December / Ages 3-6)
Public presentations of Faster than Light and Oasis in Space include a guided tour of the bright stars and constellations found in our night sky just after sunset. Seasonal Stargazing is updated regularly to reflect the changing night sky throughout the year.
(Included with admission)
Musical laser light shows in the Cummins Planetarium feature a variety of artists and musical styles interpreted through the visual magic of 3D laser graphics, animation and lighting effects. And a different laser show is presented each month. Due to the frequency of light pulses and the intensity of some color patterns, we don’t recommend laser shows for visitors who may be prone to seizures. Please note, also, that laser shows (and laser show audiences!) may be quite loud, and are not recommended for visitors under 6 years of age. Laser Shows through December, 2018 include the following:
Rock out to the Monster Mash and other kooky, spooky favorites including music from Ghostbusters, Weird Science, Beetlejuice, Rocky Horror, and artists including Stevie Wonder, INXS, Danny Elfman, John Williams and more. Join us under the dome for a frightfully good time!
(October 2018, Ages 6 to Adult)
The King of Pop is gone, but not forgotten. Celebrate the music of Michael Jackson interpreted through the magic of colorful laser graphics and animation. Songs include Bad, Beat It, Thriller, The Way You Make Me Feel, and Man in the Mirror, and others.
(November 2018, Ages 6 to Adult)
Laser Holidays has become a perennial family favorite. Ring in the season with your favorite classic and contemporary holiday tunes. Artists include Bing Crosby, Annie Lennox, Vince Geraldi, Manheim Steamroller, and more!
(December 2018, Ages 6 to Adult)