By Cynthia Hubert
Sacramento State’s state-of-the-art Planetarium, which has sold out all its events since opening to the public in September, is kicking off the new year with 20 shows in January. Tickets go on sale at noon Friday, Jan. 3.
Stars of the Pharaohs, which takes viewers to ancient Egypt and describes the roles of the heavens in that society, will be featured this month, said Planetarium Director Kyle Watters. Planetarium fans helped select the offering by voting in social media polls, he said.
The Planetarium is offering multiple Pharaohs shows on weekends beginning Jan. 10 and added a special showing of the film for Spanish speakers Sunday, Jan. 26.
The popular Wizarding World of What’s in the Sky also is returning, but only for one day, Saturday, Jan. 11. That show explores the many connections between constellations and the magical lore behind them, and visitors are encouraged to dress up as their favorite Harry Potter character.
Depending upon demand, four additional shows could be added to the Planetarium’s schedule this month, said Watters. Show times and more details.
Seats to Planetarium shows typically sell out minutes after going on sale, said Watters. Tickets are distributed through the Hornet Ticket Office online or by calling (916) 278-4323.
The Planetarium, part of the new Ernest E. Tschannen Science Complex, offers ultra-high-definition, 360-degree tours of the universe that feel so real that they can spur motion sickness, Watters said. Administrators have been pleasantly surprised by the public’s response to the shows, he said.
“We have been stunned by the level of excitement and outpouring of interest in our Planetarium public shows,” Watters said. “A few short months ago, we never would have expected that we would be running 20 public shows in one month, much less that they would all be sold out. We look forward to welcoming almost 2,000 visitors to our January public shows.”
In addition to public shows, the domed building serves as a lecture hall for Sacramento State students and a venue for school groups from throughout the region. Field trips also are in high demand.
The Planetarium is fully booked for all field trip slots through May. Fall 2020 field trip reservations will be offered this spring. Field trips, which thus far have been offered for free to K-12 students, feature movies on astronomy, telescopes, flight and climate change, and discussions about space with Sac State professors and students hosting the events.
Although Sac State is offering admission to the Planetarium at minimal cost to all visitors, donations are welcomed. Make a donation.