UNK Planetarium

The Department of Physics and Astronomy operates the UNK Planetarium. The UNK Planetarium is Nebraska's newest and largest star theater, providing students and visitors with an indoor Universe where the sky is never cloudy.

The UNK Planetarium is a 60-seat public science theater serving the UNK community, area schools, and the general public.  Set under a 30-foot dome, the Zeiss star projector can show the sky as it would be seen from any place on the Earth at any time (past, present, or future) including the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and more than 7,000 stars.  The Planetarium's state-of-the-art sound, lighting and control systems are used to create educational multimedia programs on astronomy and other topics.  

The current UNK Planetarium was built in 2008 and completed in 2009 as part of 14 million-dollar state project to renovate and modernize the existing Bruner Hall of Science.  The star projector for the new facility was funded by a generous NASA Education Grant.  The old planetarium was located in the basement of Mary Morse Lecture Hall; not being ADA compliant, the old facility was no longer adequate for community outreach.

Planetarium StarsPlanetarium Constelations

Inner Planetarium Photographs taken by Mark Urwiller

  • The Planetarium features a state-of-the-art projector, the Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4.
  • Each of the seven thousand stars is individually projected on the dome with fiber optic technology.
  • The space and time functions of the projector are completely computer controlled.
  • We can navigate to any place in the world and any date in the past or future with the push of a button.
  • The Planetarium also features movie theater surround sound system.
  • As an added treat, the red/blue/green LED lighting system will allow an infinite variety of lighting moods to enhance the star shows.
  • Lastly, a behind-the-scenes computerized control system will integrate the various technologies into a cohesive star theater.