Charles W. Brown Planetarium

School and Group Program Descriptions

Be prepared to request a single program from the list below and to describe your objectives for coming to the planetarium. Please note that all programs begin with an introduction of our presenters and facility and end with a Q&A session. Each program is just under one hour long and the topics covered during the live portions of each program are adjusted to the background of the class and the requests of the teacher.

Once you have selected a single program from the list below, follow Step 2 on our Group Visit Checklist.

Planetarium programs fit into the following categories:

  • Live Programs are live presentations where the planetarium instructor leads the students through various concepts.
  • Automated Multimedia programs present visuals accompanied with a recorded sound track. Afterwards, a short live show will be given by the presenter.
  • Planetarium Labs lead students through a series of observations to help them discover the nature of and causes for various scientific topics. For most labs, each student is expected to bring the lab packet provided by us, a pencil, and something to write on.

Live Program Descriptions

Program Name 


Grade Level

Our Night Sky Explore the current night sky. This lesson teaches the basics of constellations, the daily motion of the sky, the current moon phase, the planets currently visible, and more.
The Solar System Explore the planets and other objects in our Solar System. New and exciting information sent back from various space probes will be discussed.

Automated Multimedia Program Descriptions

Program Name 


Grade Level

One-World-One-Sky One World, One Sky is a brilliant spectacle of light and color that follows Sesame Street's Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a new friend from China. Together, they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. They will also find shapes in the sky that will help them find the North star. This cross-cultural adventure opens children's eyes to the sky, helping them see how people all over the world are connected. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
This program is available in Spanish! Just request this in the comments section when you fill out the online request form.
Flight Adventures
Discover the science of flight through birds, kites, planes, and more. Learn about famous inventors and aviators of the past and the pioneers who first revealed the 4 forces of flight. Students will be introduced to how NASA is discovering new and safer ways to travel with the help of future engineers and aviators. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
Back to the Moon
Narrated by Tim Allen, this show chronicles teams around the world competing for the largest incentivized prize in history, by landing a robotic spacecraft on the Moon for the first time in more than 40 years. Who will win the 30 million dollar prize? After 40 years, the race is heating up once again, get in on the action! Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
This program is available in multiple languages! E-mail to find out more.
Moons Take a journey through our solar system and explore the remarkable diversity — and surprising might — of moons! From volcanoes and geysers to ice-covered oceans and methane rain, these natural satellites have some spectacular features, and many even exert a surprising influence on their planetary partners. Learn what these celestial bodies reveal about the history and workings of our solar system. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide. 4-Adult
Saturn & Beyond Saturn’s rings are one of the most beautiful sights in the solar system. They can be seen clearly even with a small backyard telescope. Astronomers have known about these rings for over 400 years, yet they still present many questions. In 2004 the Cassini orbiter and the Huygens probe reached Saturn. During this show we will explore the mysterious features seen by these spacecraft. 4-Adult
Welcome to Our Solar System Travel through our Universe to the Milky Way Galaxy as you take a journey back in time to see our solar system form from a great cloud of dust and gas. Learn how our Earth and nearby planets were created and how they became what they are today. Hear the latest news from NASA as we explore each planet up close. Explore the outer reaches of our solar system and learn how Pluto fits in as a dwarf planet. This show was written in part by high schoolers, undergraduates, and graduate students in Muncie, IN. 4-Adult  
Space exploration, our greatest adventure, is having a big impact on our lives. To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide. 4-Adult  
Cosmic Colors
Cosmic Colors will take students on a wondrous journey across the "electromagnetic spectrum." Discover the various reasons for color - like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye. Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back on Earth at your doctor's office. Students will even see the actual color of a dinosaur - based on recent evidence. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
Undiscovered Worlds The Search Beyond our Sun explores a timeless question: Do other planets like Earth exist? Within the past 20 years, astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets orbiting other stars. Travel to distant stars and fly up to exotic planets and see them up close in the planetarium. Experience the science shifting our perspectives on humanity’s place in the cosmos. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide. 5-Adult
Chasing the Ghost Particle
Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, IceCube, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the most extreme places in the universe. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive way to study powerful cosmic engines like exploding stars and black holes. In this show, stunning simulations of the most extreme places in our universe, and the galaxies around us, are the prelude to a thrilling journey inside IceCube, looking for traces of neutrino collisions in the ice. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
From Earth to the Universe From Earth to the Universe leaves our home to take the audience out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe. Click here to view the full-length preview.  HS-Adult
The Hot and Energetic Universe The planetarium documentary The Hot and Energetic Universe presents (with the use of Immersive Visualizations and real images) the achievements of the modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics. Click here to view the full-length preview. HS-Adult
Sunstruck Heliophysics is the main component of the Sunstruck! planetarium show. It includes information on the sun, parts/layers, space weather and its impact on Earth. We used several NASA heliophysics missions including SOHO, IRIS, and SDO. The audience should gain an enhanced understanding of the Sun and how it impacts our world. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide. HS-Adult

Planetarium Labs

Program Name Description
Exploring Light As we explore all the colors of the rainbow with our planetarium lights, students will learn about absorption and reflection. Then, we will see the different colors of stars and how that light teaches us about the star.
Phases of the Moon
Discover the motions of the moon as only a planetarium projector can do. How does the moon move throughout one day or night; or a week; or a month? What causes the phases of the moon? Does the moon rotate? How do eclipses occur? Search for the answers to these questions and more. Additional information is available in the Teacher's Guide.
Seasonal Changes
In this lab, students will chart the changing apparent path of the sun throughout the year as they explore how Earth’s tilt is the “reason for the seasons”. Misconceptions will be presented and debunked as evidence is presented regarding Earth’s distance from the sun and more.

Once you have selected a single program from the list, follow Step 2 on our Group Visit Checklist.

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Ball State University
Cooper Physical Science Building, room 101
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Summer Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Phone: 765-285-8860
Fax: 765-285-5674
View E-mail Address