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Our History

For more than 30 years, the planetarium has given Morgantown and the surrounding communities a glimpse into worlds beyond our own.

The WVU Planetarium is an on-campus planetarium on the roof of White Hall, home to WVU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. The planetarium operations and shows are run by graduate students, and they offer FREE public shows every other Friday evening.

Each show begins with a tour of the night sky that evening, projected onto our full dome. Following the introduction, we play one the movies from our Show Library, ranging from 15-minute videos for young kids to longer movies on more in-depth astronomy topics. The planetarium also offers shows on other scientific topics, like supervolcanoes, Earth’s dynamic climate, and astronomy history. Guest presenters also come in to give presentations on their research, and cutting-edge discoveries in astronomy.

After the show, the audience is invited to look around the many displays inside the planetarium, including some telescopes from the first WVU observatory, and a flown tire from NASA that was used on the Columbia space shuttle during the STS-76 mission in 1996. We also display some tactile astronomy exhibits, which showcase constellations on a 3D printed surface so that blind audiences can appreciate them. On clear nights, the undergraduate Astronomy Club staffs the observatory, and the audience can use the 14” Celestron telescope to look at the night sky.

Pandemic Creativity and Collaboration

During the pandemic, the planetarium pivoted to virtual shows over Zoom, using the free  Stellarium web app. While some of our standard planetarium movies were made available for online streaming, we also augmented our usual show rotation with presentations from WVU grad students, postdocs, and faculty. The planetarium also collaborated with other organizations, hosting talks and activities put on by the  West Virginia Science Public Outreach Team as well as other local organizations.

Education and Community Outreach

The planetarium also offers free field trips to local schools and other educational groups. If you’re in the area and looking for some free astronomy content, check out the planetarium! Be sure to make a reservation before the show.

Our Partners in STEM

We also love to promote these space-related STEM groups! 

Our Visitors Say...

Thank you for the first-time, awesome experience. Great way to get kids interested in space! Thank you! Very fun and visually beautiful. Always a great visit!

The presenter did an AMAZING job of keeping the kids engaged and keeping the content age-appropriate. He was excited about the content and that was extremely well conveyed to the kids.

They know their subjects and present them professionally and at a level that can be understood by the layman, youngsters and those with scientific backgrounds.

We live in Washington State but visited WVU two summers ago with 2 of WVU’s best professors. The virtual shows allow us to feel connected to space, family, and WVU.