Here in our Planetarium we can show you the stars at any time - even during the daytime! We do this using a special machine called a star projector. It projects nearly 4 500 stars onto the domed ceiling of our star theatre. Here you will be able to view the night sky in comfort, without interference from clouds or bright lights.
With the star projector, slides, videos, DVDs, music, and a lively commentary, the planetarium allows us to explore the Universe by entering worlds beyond our own.
Inside The Planetarium
When you first come inside the star theatre, it will seem quite dark. We need the lights to be turned down low so that your eyes will get used to the dark. Settle yourself down into one of our comfortable seats. You may notice that they look like aircraft seats; that's because they used to be inside a Jumbo Jet!
After a few minutes, the lights will be turned off completely and, if you look up, you will see the stars of the night sky. we will also show you to Moon and planets, and point out some of the star patterns. in some presentations we take you on an imaginary journey to visit other places on the Earth, to show you what the stars look like from there.
An Educational Charity
The South Downs Planetarium project was born out of an awareness of the need to promote a greater public understanding of science in general, and astronomy in particular. It has been made possible by the many charitable donations the fund has received from individuals groups, and large organisations. We also have a team of dedicated Volunteers.
As an educational charity, the Planetarium needs YOUR help. why not join our Friends of the Planetarium Star Club, which has been formed in response to requests from visitors who wish to be more involved with this exciting project. Or consider joining the Planetarium's team of volunteers. No knowledge of astronomy is necessary. For further information on how you can help, call us on 01243 774400.
School and Youth Group Visits
We welcome visits by schools and other educational or youth groups. Special programmes for schools are available, either tailored to the content of the National Curriculum, or to suit an individual school's requirements. Question and answer sessions are a key feature of these programmes, particularly for primary schools. School visits may be arranged Mondays to Fridays during term-time, between 915 am and 2:45 pm.
Visits by scouts, guides and other youth groups are normally arranged for the early evening.
Clubs, Societies and Adult Groups
A visit to the Planetarium provides an unusual, stimulating and educational outing for your club, group or society. The length of the presentation in the star theatre is normally one hour, but his can be varied to suit your requirements. special topics available on request.
Private and Corporate Hire
The South Downs Planetarium provides a fascinating and different venue for conferences, private meetings or functions, for up to 90 people.
The Planetarium is staffed by a small group of volunteers, and operates throughout the year, but is not open every day.
We usually have eight or nine presentations per month which are open to the general public, but the dates and times can vary.
In addition to the public presentations, we accept advance bookings for visits by school and youth groups, clubs, societies and adult groups, and for private or corporate hire as required.
Our presentations cover a wide range of topics on astronomy and space science incorporating the latest available imagery from NASA, ESA and other sources. These presentations last about an hour, and are not generally suitable for children aged under 6 years.
Children (6-16 years) £4
School and Youth Groups, Clubs , Societies and Adult Groups:
Discounted rates may apply. Call for details
Private and Corporate Hire: Call for details
We brought 90 Year 5 children to the planetarium as their topic is space. The facilities & staff were wonderful. We appreciated that the Bognor night sky was shown to …
I took my seven year old son to the Planetarium for a presentation about the Solar System. It was perfect for my space-obsessed son! The talk was entertaining and informative, …
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