Cummins Planetarium

About Cummins Planetarium

Located at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, the Cummins Planetarium features the latest full-dome video and laser light shows to entertain, educate and inspire audiences of up to 50 people. Prepare to take flight, expand your mind, and rock out under the planetarium dome. Check out our program offerings through August 2020 and find something for all interests. And remember, regularly-scheduled public planetarium shows are included with your museum admission.


Introduce your little ones to the sun, moon and stars in Big Bird’s Adventure. Investigate Earth’s unbelievably violent pre-history. Explore those amazing optical time machines we call telescopes. Thrill to some out-of-this-world roller coasters. And learn about the seasonal night sky.

The Birth of Planet Earth

Birth of Planet Earth tells the twisted tale of our planet’s origins. Scientists believe our galaxy is filled with planetary systems, including up to a billion worlds roughly the size of our Earth. The show uses advanced, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today. How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system’s violent birth, and what does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like?
(February-August, 2020 / Ages 6 to Adult)

Two Small Pieces of Glass – The Amazing Telescope

While attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the universe around us. Their conversation with an amateur astronomer enlightens them, and us, on the 400-year history of telescopes and the discoveries these amazing tools have made. Soundtrack performed by the London Symphony Orchestra.
(February-May, 2020 / Ages 6 to Adult)

SpacePark 360

Summertime is for roller coasters. But how about on another planet? SpacePark 360 transports us to the farthest reaches of space where audiences will enjoy a series of virtual thrill rides, each one on a different world. Buckle up and hang on for a wild ride through the solar system and back.
(June-August, 2020 / Ages 6 to Adult)

Seasonal Stargazing

Taking place after each public performance of Birth of Earth and The Amazing Telescope is this short, guided-tour of the current evening sky. This 6-minute, mini-show is updated periodically to reflect seasonal changes in the bright stars and constellations visible from your own back yard.
(Included with admission)

Laser Shows

Looking for something different under the dome, lighter fare perhaps? Vivid colors, charming animations, eye-popping graphics and 3D effects make laser light shows an exciting alternative to the traditional full-dome science program. Laser shows feature a different theme or musical genre each month and are included with your museum admission. See how lasers work, with Laser 101, right before your show.

Laser Motown

Presented in observance of Black History Month, Laser Motown features both artfully rendered and humorous laser graphics that bring to light the music of artists including Diana Ross, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, the Four Tops and more! Rhythm & blues, as well as soul, are featured with a distinct pop influence.
(February, 2020)

Laser Michael Jackson

He may be gone, but his music lives on. Revel in the music of the King of Pop, interpreted through the magic of colorful laser graphics and animation. Tracks include Bad, The Way You Make Me Feel, Don’t Stop, Man in the Mirror and more!
(March, 2020)

Colors of the World

A celebration of musical diversity from around the globe. Authentic sounds and vibrant laser-generated images illustrate cultures from over a dozen regions including Africa, Ukraine, Central & South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Mediterranean and elsewhere.
(April, 2020)

Lasers of Oz

Enjoy the most enchanting musical numbers from the beloved 1939 film “The Wizard of OZ.” Colorful laser animation brings new life to Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Witches (good and bad), as well as the great and powerful Oz himself.
(May, 2020)

Spirit of America

Dazzling laser graphics and animation in a musical tribute to life in the USA. Featured musical artists include KISS, R. Kelly, Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Brooks & Dunn, Lee Greenwood, Celine Dion and more.
(June, 2020)

Laser Beatles

Charming animation and psychedelic laser visuals celebrate the musical phenomenon that included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Return to a more innocent time with tracks including “Octopus’s Garden,” “Help!,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Get Back,” “Yesterday,” and “Strawberry Fields.”
(July, 2020)

Laser Classic Rock

A straight-up rock ‘n’ roll showcase. Artists include Pink Floyd, Queen, RUSH, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin.
(August, 2020)

Laser 101

What are lasers and how do they work? Find out from an expert – a highly excitable electron presents a brief but informative demonstration on the science of lasers right before your featured laser show.
(February-August, 2020 / Included with admission)


Family-friendly stargazing parties and safely-filtered solar viewing activities are hosted each month by staff from the Cummins Planetarium at locations around Rocky Mount. Partners and co-hosts include members of the Tar River Astronomy Club, the Braswell Memorial Library, Rocky Mount Farmers Market and others. You may also have a look through our scopes at family-oriented festivals and public events all over eastern North Carolina. Like and follow us on FaceBook, for dates, times and locations, as well as potential observing targets. Join us under the stars!

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