What to see at the new Dorrance Planetarium

Be sure to catch a show at the Dorrance Planetarium with your visit to the Arizona Science Center Phoenix or azsciencecenter for short.

Do you want to learn more about the stars at night?

This museum is so full of fun things to see and do. You can easily miss one of the best features. Do you wonder what that star in the sky is named? Maybe it's a planet!

So what is in the sky tonight? And what is an astro-comic?

They have a show called the Arizona Skies just for you.

The best part is the professional astronomers guiding the show. They should be called astro-comics. Find out some of the latest astronomy jokes and you can impress your friends!

Anyway, it’s a delightful way to spend about 45 minutes.

Kids love the show.

Adults like the quiet and cool darkness and maybe a quick cat nap. That was actually one of the funny lines from the astro-comic.

Dorrance Planetarium EntrancePlanetarium Entrance

You walk through these double doors and enter a hallway with pin point stars on the ceiling to get you in the mood. Then you find your way to a nice reclining seat, hmm where can I go for a quick nap? My bad. The show is lively and you will easily stay awake.

Sit in the row around the center and you might get called on just like at a comic show. You might even get to push some buttons on the wireless controller for the show!

Best seats tend to be in the back half of the room. This is because the show is mostly straight up and the best angle to see everything is from the back. Here’s a picture from the last row in the back above the middle isle.

Planetarium Interior from the top rowPlanetarium Interior from the top row

First thing you notice is the armrest with the lighted buttons. The astronomer will ask questions while people are finding seats. The questions and your guesses get shown on the screen above. This is very interactive and fun.

What’s your sign?  Another show at the Dorrance Planetarium

The show is custom so you can ask to see your favorite constellation, your astrological sign, or anything else. The astronomer walks around with a wireless touch pad that can guide the sky to just about anything you want. That’s just one of the improvements to the new planetarium.

Look up and you will see the new “NanoSeam” dome that looks like a giant luminescent pearl when the lights are on. This new dome does a terrific job of showing the skies. And producing other fun shows.

What other shows are there besides the Arizona Skies?

There are other shows playing now including Starry Storytime for little ones, Black Holes, and get this, a look at the human body through the view of a cell-sized submarine. This last show in the planetarium is called Microcosm: The Adventure Within.

The new improved planetarium is the first in the world with this new technology that cost millions to produce. Right here in Phoenix Arizona.

The new seats are well padded and comfortable. When the Dorrance Planetarium show is over the lights come on gradually and you will feel refreshed!

Here's a link to their current shows: https://www.azscience.org/attractions/dorrance-planetarium/

Return from Dorrance Planetarium to Mesa-Goodlife
Return from Dorrance Planetarium to Arizona Science Center

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