Experience the desert sky...inside and out!
The Planetarium Logo Yellow Background

Note: The Planetarium is open to visitors again.  Through August 31, 2021, we will have a special rate for private shows on Monday through Friday at either 9:30 am or 11:00 am of 50 dollars per show.  You can make reservations by calling 702-651-4505 or through our online reservation system.

Public shows will begin again on July 2, 2021.  Reservations are not required, but each guest will be required to sign in with contact information. This contact information will be maintained for 60 days as required by CSN and the Southern Nevada Health District.  It will not be used for any purpose except contacting visitors in the case of possible exposure to COVID.  All unvaccinated visitors will also be required to wear a mask throughout their entire visit and do a self-health check before their visit.


Welcome to Southern Nevada’s only public planetarium, where the stars are literally the stars of the show. Our 66-seat theater features an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5 high definition hemispheric video projection system. By creating virtual realities on our impressive 30-foot dome, we surround visitors with simulated educational and entertaining content in an environment that is unparalleled in Southern Nevada.

We serve a hybrid role within the College of Southern Nevada and to the community at large. In our capacities, we fulfill three primary objectives:

K-12 Education

We offer multidisciplinary field trips and private shows for a variety of groups across Southern Nevada.

Student Success

We provide CSN students, on a variety of career paths, a unique way to engage with their coursework.

Public Outreach

We invite the community to visit us during our weekend shows and special events as the only public planetarium in Southern Nevada.

Public Shows & Special Events

Current Planetarium Programming

Summer 2021

July 2021
(6:00 pm Friday and Saturday, 3:30 pm Saturday)
Seeing! plus Seasonal Stargazing and Q and A
July 2021
(7:00 pm Friday and Saturday)
Natural Selection plus Seasonal Stargazing and Q and A
July 2021
(8:00 pm Friday and Saturday)
The Dark Matter Mystery plus Seasonal Stargazing and Q and A


With the reopening of The Planetarium, there are rules that we must all follow.  Masks are required at all times for unvaccinated guests. We ask that all guests do a self-evaluation for COVID exposure or symptoms before attending a show.  You will be required to sign-in and provide contact information, as well as agree to inform the Planetarium or CSN of any change in symptoms within a certain time frame after attendance.  We may also limit the number of guests in the shop at any one time.

We ask that you please prepay online through the reservation system or use contactless methods of payment in the shop.  We will accept cash payments, but we would prefer not to do so at this time.

We will NOT be able to resume telescope observing at this time.  When it is safe to do so, we will.

Please note that there is no late seating for public performances. 

Show Admission:

General Admission: $6.00
Discount Admission: $5.00*

*Seniors over 55, children under 12, active military, and CSN students.

For groups of 15 or more, please see our group reservation policy.

If you need assistance,  please contact the Planetarium ahead of time and we can try to find an accommodation that will work for you.

Current Promotions

Student Appreciation Night:  Students with a valid CSN Student ID may attend the 6 pm, 7 pm, or 8 pm show for free on the first Friday of each month.

The Big Dipper Program:  Our ticket rewards program. One ticket purchased earns one star on our Big Dipper punch card. Once all seven stars in the Big Dipper are punched, Big Dipper card holders earn one free ticket and a new punch card.

Evening at The Planetarium:  Spend the entire evening at The Planetarium!  If you buy tickets for consecutive shows, all consecutive shows are half price.

Field Trips & Private Shows

Planetarium Field Trips

We aim to provide a cost-effective, high-quality educational and entertaining experience for your public school, private school, home school collective, or other private group. As Southern Nevada's only public planetarium, we are able to guide your group on a one-of-a-kind journey through many scientific disciplines.

All of our private shows consist of three parts:

  • Main Programming: Personally selected or staff recommended content in theme with your topic of choice. This can be one or two of our shorter programs (under 25 minutes in length each) or one of our longer programs (over 25 minutes in length).
  • Seasonal Stargazing: A stargazing experience with the stars and constellations visible in Las Vegas in the current season.
  • Astronomy Q&A: A unique experience where your students and group members are able to have a conversation, ask questions, and engage with a CSN Planetarium astrophysicist.

Total show time varies from 45 to 60 minutes depending on main programming selection and amount of group questions. If your group has specific time constraints, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to accommodate you.


Making a Reservation

The Planetarium at CSN has a maximum seating capacity of 66 total people and cannot accommodate more.

For the summer of 2021, the admission fee for any private group will be $50 no matter the size of the group (up to 66 people)  The normal admission price for private groups is $2.00 per person (all students and adults included). There is a minimum fee of $50 (up to 25 people) and a maximum fee of $100 (50 or more people) for each individual show.

We offer private shows at 9:30 and 11 a.m. on weekdays throughout the year. Please call our front desk at (702) 651-4505 with any questions, or reserve online.


Recommended shows for each age range:

Note that these are simply recommendations. You are free to choose any show on this list for any group.

Pre-K Shows

Grades K-2 Shows

Shorter:

Longer:

Grades 3-5 Shows

Shorter:

Longer:

Grades 6-∞ Shows

Shorter:

Longer:

Please be aware that there are some topics covered in select shows that may be sensitive to some groups. The Planetarium at CSN is an institution of science and will educate all audiences from a scientific perspective. Please feel free to discuss any questions, hesitations, or concerns when making your reservation.

Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit

New visitors should be aware that it is advisable to arrive 15 minutes early to ensure that you can locate the Planetarium and purchase tickets. We do not offer late seating under any circumstance.

The Planetarium at CSN is located in the South Building of the North Las Vegas campus of the College of Southern Nevada:

3200 E. Cheyenne Avenue

North Las Vegas, NV 89030

The Astronomy Store

Adjacent to The Planetarium at CSN, the Astronomy Store is where guests can purchase tickets prior to each scheduled show.

Hours:

  • Friday: 5:30 pm to 9 pm
  • Saturday: 3:30 to 4:30 pm, 5:30 to 9 pm

The Astronomy Store features all types of astronomy related products for sale when patrons purchase their planetarium tickets.  Including posters, models, astronaut ice cream and fruit, scientific toys, model rocketry materials, Space Pens and astronomical observing aids, the store provides a wide selection of fun and educational items for kids and adults alike.

Friends of The Planetarium receive a 10% discount.

Getting to the Planetarium

From most locations, the easiest way to get to The Planetarium at CSN from most locations is to take the I-15. Take the exit East and drive approximately 1 mile. The North Las Vegas campus of CSN will be on your left.

The North Las Vegas campus is also easily accessible by the public transportation. For information on the area's public transportation system visit RTCSNV.

Where to Park

Parking is free at CSN. The best parking lot for easy access to The Planetarium at CSN is adjacent to the Observatory. Look for a brick wall with the letter "O" on the side.

Map

Please note that north is to the left on the map.

CSN North Las Vegas campus map with directions to the planetarium

Stay Connected & Get Involved

Ambassadors of Astronomy

The CSN Ambassadors of Astronomy is our internship program open to high school seniors and college students. CSN Ambassadors of Astronomy get hands-on experience in informal education, public speaking, and astronomy equipment operation. Ambassadors have received thousands of dollars in scholarship funding as a direct result of their participation in this program.

Applications are solicited periodically. Please subscribe to our monthly email list to stay updated.

onOrbit Magazine

onOrbit is published by The Planetarium every month. We began publication in January, 1989. onOrbit replaced the Southern Nevada Sky Calendar which was published from 1977 through 1988.

In July, 2001, we began joint publication with the Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center in Reno, thereby expanding our service area to the entire State of Nevada. In Reno, onOrbit replaced the Fleischmann Flyer. It is sent to all Friends of The Planetarium and Friends of the Fleischmann Planetarium.

onOrbit is also available by subscription at $12/year.

Looking for back issues?
Please contact the CSN Planetarium for past issues of our onOrbit magazine

Friends of the Planetarium

Please be a star in our sky! onOrbit magazine, our monthly astronomy publication, is made possible, in part, by donations from the Friends of the Planetarium.

Become a Friend of the Planetarium by sending an annual donation of $25.00 or more (check made payable to "CSN Foundation") to:

The Planetarium - NLVS143
College of Southern Nevada
3200 E. Cheyenne Avenue
North Las Vegas, NV 89030

Benefits:

  • Receive onOrbit magazine each month
  • Discount admission to all shows
  • 10% discount in the Astronomy Store
    • Star ($25) - discount admission for Friend
    • Nova ($50) - discount admission for Friend & family
    • Supernova ($100) - free admission for Friend & discount admission for family
    • Star Cluster ($200) - free admission for Friend & family
    • Galaxy ($500) - free admission for Friend & all guests

To become a Friend of The Planetarium, please send your tax deductible donation to the address above using our convenient application form.

For more information, please inquire in the Astronomy Store on show days or call (702) 651-4505 during regular business hours.

Resources

Current clear sky chart

The Planetarium at CSN

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram 

Las Vegas Astronomical Society | CHOLLA Informal Education ConsortiumPacific Planetarium Association 

  • Astronomy Hot Line: 702-651-4SKY (702-651-4759)
  • NASA Educator Resource Center: 702-651-4505
  • Astronomy Voice Line: 702-651-4138

General Resources

NASA Regional Educator Resource Center

The Planetarium at CSN, in cooperation with the NASA Ames Research Center, operates the Nevada Educator Resource Center (NERC). The NERC maintains curricular materials and lesson plans for K-12 teachers primarily in the areas of Space Science and Astronomy. Teachers are encouraged to come to the center and copy any of these public domain materials. These materials include print media, audio tapes, slides and video tapes. Startup funding for the NERC was provided by the Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Higher Education Grant Program.

NASA Resources

  • NASA's Educational services are available from NASA Education.
  • Nathan Smith at the Utah State University Educational Resources & Technology Center has created a useful set of links.
  • NASA's JPL has recently posted a new electronic book on The Basics of Space Flight.
  • The Space Telescope Science Institute features the latest images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • The latest information on the Galileo Mission at Jupiter is available from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratories has a collection of many of the best images from NASA's exploration programs.

Other Resources

  • An electronic version of Science Magazine is available at Science Online.
  • The Physics Department at the University of Oregon has posted an interesting web page about the newly discovered planet circling the star 51 Pegasi.
  • Try the online orrery called Solar System Live.
  • Satellite Tracking. This site provides ground track and visibility information on several satellites including the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope.
Ask An Astronomer

Have you ever had a specific astronomical question that Google couldn't answer for you?  The Planetarium at CSN has a team of expert astronomers and astrophysicists available to answer any question that you may have.

Click to Contact Uswith your astronomy questions.

FAQ:

1.  Why is Pluto not considered a planet?

Answer:  In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that they would no longer consider Pluto a planet because it has not cleared its orbit of debris and other rocky material.  Their declaration that this disqualified it from planetary status has received mixed reviews, with many planetary astronomers disagreeing with the IAU statement.  In fact, NASA is proposing a counter definition for a planet after their exploration of Pluto with New Horizons.  While NASA is trying to go through the proper channels within IAU to change their definition, the definition of a planet is not something that that IAU has unilateral discretion to determine.  They have merely declared themselves the arbiters of all space related decisions without having the true authority to do so.

2.  When (or where) does space end?  (From Ari, age 6)

Answer (by Dr. Stephanie Fiorenza):  As of right now, we can see space out to about 15 billion light years.  A light year is the distance that light travels in one year.  So what that means is that space is really, really big!

It is possible that there is stuff in the universe that's even farther away from the stuff we can see right now.  The trouble, though, is that we will probably never get to see these things because space is growing bigger and bigger, and more and more quickly, every moment!  So if there are extra things in space that are too far away for us to see, we probably will not ever get to see them because space keeps pushing them farther and farther away from us.

What this means is that we really don't know for sure when space ends.  You asked a question that still stumps even the smartest astronomers, Ari!  I hope that maybe one day, someone (editor's note: Or even you Ari, when you become a scientist) will come up with a better answer to your question.

Until then, we can do nothing but wait in wonder and awe! :)

3.  “My husband and I's first year wedding anniversary is Sunday and for our wedding, I bought us a star!  For our one year, I really want to surprise him and take him to a place that can show us our star for the first time.  Is there anyway CSN Planetarium can help me make this big surprise happen?” (From Shelby)

Answer (by Nick Juliano, Planetarium Program Manager): Due to the dim nature of 99.99% of stars typically on these types of registries (an apparent magnitude much lower than the human eye can see) in conjunction with the extreme light pollution in Las Vegas (I once lived within 5 miles of NYC and the light pollution here is much worse), it is our policy to not attempt these types of observations. Even with the greatest telescopes, the Las Vegas Valley is not very suitable for observing dim objects.

If you would like to observe this star, my best recommendation would be to buy or rent your own telescope and drive to a dark area to observe it. The nearest certified dark sky site is Great Basin National Park, and that is a great place for observing dim objects. Unfortunately, however, the last telescope rental place in the valley went under several years ago. We at the CSN Planetarium and Observatory lack the location to make these observations, and many other observatories require a research proposal to use their equipment or have it operated for you.

I wish I had better news for you. Good luck with your search, and congratulations on making it past what many say is the most difficult year of marriage. I wish you two many more orbits around our host star.

4.  Is there life out there?

Answer:  Astronomers have not found any yet.

When astronomers look for extraterrestrial life, they look for single-celled organisms. Single-celled life came around on Earth long before larger life, and that is all we have to work with. So when we search for extraterrestrial life, we search for certain things: similarities between the other object and Earth (liquid water, oxygen, adequate temperature, carbon, etc.), indicators of life’s impact on the object’s geology, or life itself. Nothing has conclusively led to life so far.

There are an estimated 1 septillion stars in the Universe (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), and over half of the stars we have surveyed have at least one planet around them. That puts our estimated number of planets at a minimum of 500 sextillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). Statistically, it is literally impossible for Earth to be the only planet with life on it. That being said, it has not been discovered, so it cannot be claimed to exist.

5.  How do we discover exoplanets?

Answer:  There are three ways:

· Taking an actual image of the planet – this has only been done a handful of times because of the sheer distances between objects

· Observing the planet’s effect on the host star’s movement – planets have gravitational influence on their stars. It is small, but it is there. By observing this gravitational influence in the form of stellar “wobble,” we can determine what objects are orbiting these stars

· Observing the planet’s effect on the host star’s brightness – occasionally, a planet may come in between its host star and Earth, leading to a dip in the star’s brightness. With an orbiting planet, this happens periodically. We can use this information (orbital period and amount of brightness “dip”) to determine a lot about the orbiting object.

Ask An Astronomer

Have you ever had a specific astronomical question that Google couldn't answer for you?  The Planetarium at CSN has a team of expert astronomers and astrophysicists available to answer any question that you may have.

Click to Contact Uswith your astronomy questions.

FAQ:

1.  Why is Pluto not considered a planet?

Answer:  In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that they would no longer consider Pluto a planet because it has not cleared its orbit of debris and other rocky material.  Their declaration that this disqualified it from planetary status has received mixed reviews, with many planetary astronomers disagreeing with the IAU statement.  In fact, NASA is proposing a counter definition for a planet after their exploration of Pluto with New Horizons.  While NASA is trying to go through the proper channels within IAU to change their definition, the definition of a planet is not something that that IAU has unilateral discretion to determine.  They have merely declared themselves the arbiters of all space related decisions without having the true authority to do so.

2.  When (or where) does space end?  (From Ari, age 6)

Answer (by Dr. Stephanie Fiorenza):  As of right now, we can see space out to about 15 billion light years.  A light year is the distance that light travels in one year.  So what that means is that space is really, really big!

It is possible that there is stuff in the universe that's even farther away from the stuff we can see right now.  The trouble, though, is that we will probably never get to see these things because space is growing bigger and bigger, and more and more quickly, every moment!  So if there are extra things in space that are too far away for us to see, we probably will not ever get to see them because space keeps pushing them farther and farther away from us.

What this means is that we really don't know for sure when space ends.  You asked a question that still stumps even the smartest astronomers, Ari!  I hope that maybe one day, someone (editor's note: Or even you Ari, when you become a scientist) will come up with a better answer to your question.

Until then, we can do nothing but wait in wonder and awe! :)

3.  “My husband and I's first year wedding anniversary is Sunday and for our wedding, I bought us a star!  For our one year, I really want to surprise him and take him to a place that can show us our star for the first time.  Is there anyway CSN Planetarium can help me make this big surprise happen?” (From Shelby)

Answer (by Nick Juliano, Planetarium Program Manager): Due to the dim nature of 99.99% of stars typically on these types of registries (an apparent magnitude much lower than the human eye can see) in conjunction with the extreme light pollution in Las Vegas (I once lived within 5 miles of NYC and the light pollution here is much worse), it is our policy to not attempt these types of observations. Even with the greatest telescopes, the Las Vegas Valley is not very suitable for observing dim objects.

If you would like to observe this star, my best recommendation would be to buy or rent your own telescope and drive to a dark area to observe it. The nearest certified dark sky site is Great Basin National Park, and that is a great place for observing dim objects. Unfortunately, however, the last telescope rental place in the valley went under several years ago. We at the CSN Planetarium and Observatory lack the location to make these observations, and many other observatories require a research proposal to use their equipment or have it operated for you.

I wish I had better news for you. Good luck with your search, and congratulations on making it past what many say is the most difficult year of marriage. I wish you two many more orbits around our host star.

4.  Is there life out there?

Answer:  Astronomers have not found any yet.

When astronomers look for extraterrestrial life, they look for single-celled organisms. Single-celled life came around on Earth long before larger life, and that is all we have to work with. So when we search for extraterrestrial life, we search for certain things: similarities between the other object and Earth (liquid water, oxygen, adequate temperature, carbon, etc.), indicators of life’s impact on the object’s geology, or life itself. Nothing has conclusively led to life so far.

There are an estimated 1 septillion stars in the Universe (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), and over half of the stars we have surveyed have at least one planet around them. That puts our estimated number of planets at a minimum of 500 sextillion (500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). Statistically, it is literally impossible for Earth to be the only planet with life on it. That being said, it has not been discovered, so it cannot be claimed to exist.

5.  How do we discover exoplanets?

Answer:  There are three ways:

· Taking an actual image of the planet – this has only been done a handful of times because of the sheer distances between objects

· Observing the planet’s effect on the host star’s movement – planets have gravitational influence on their stars. It is small, but it is there. By observing this gravitational influence in the form of stellar “wobble,” we can determine what objects are orbiting these stars

· Observing the planet’s effect on the host star’s brightness – occasionally, a planet may come in between its host star and Earth, leading to a dip in the star’s brightness. With an orbiting planet, this happens periodically. We can use this information (orbital period and amount of brightness “dip”) to determine a lot about the orbiting object.