The UCLA Planetarium

Hours:  Public Planetarium Shows happen at 7pm every Wednesday evening during the fall, winter and spring quarters of the UCLA Academic Calendar.


Public shows are FREE.  No tickets or reservations required.  All planetarium shows start at 7pm (rain or shine) and last 45-60 minutes.  Late arrivals will not be admitted.


Telescope Viewing is subject to current weather conditions.


Directions:  The UCLA Planetarium (Room MS 8224) is located on the eighth floor of the Mathematical Sciences Building on the UCLA campus, and the telescopes are located on the ninth floor.


To reach the campus, from I-405, take exit 57 towards Sunset Blvd.  Follow signs along West Sunset Blvd towards UCLA; in less than a mile, you will reach the campus.  Consult the campus map to find a parking structure near the Mathematical Sciences building.


Wednesday Evening Planetarium Show:  A visit to the UCLA Planetarium has three parts: a current night sky show, a special topic show, and (weather permitting) a telescope show.  The content of the current night sky show will vary by presenter, but will generally cover the stars, constellations, and other astronomical phenomena.  The night sky show generally lasts 30-40 minutes and is suitable for all ages. 


The special topic show is a 15-20 minute slide or video presentation on a specific area of astronomy, and is shown in the planetarium immediately following the night sky show.  Special topic shows are designed to be interesting and meaningful for anyone who comes to our planetarium.  A different special topic show is offered each week.  New shows are constantly being developed; check http://www.astro.ucla.edu/planetarium/shows_topics.shtml for a complete list of special topic shows, and http://www.astro.ucla.edu/planetarium/index.shtml for the dates of upcoming shows.


On clear nights visitors are invited to look through one of the department telescopes after the special topic show.  We view a variety of celestial objects, including planets, nebulae, and/or star clusters (depending on what objects are currently in the sky).


Highlights:  The UCLA Planetarium gives public shows about the universe once a week on topics suitable for all ages.  Presented by UCLA Astronomy graduate students and faculty, topics include discussion about the current night sky, constellations, and other astronomical phenomena.  With seating for 51 people, the Planetarium is a unique and intimate setting for anyone to learn about the universe.






Parking: Due to congestion on the UCLA campus, please allow ample time for parking as we are not able to accommodate late arrivals.


Parking is available at any of UCLA's parking structures for $9.00 or at on-street meters on UCLA's campus. The parking structures closest to the Mathematical Sciences building are Lots 6 and 9 (off of Westwood Blvd.) and Lot 2 (off of Hilgard Ave.).  Lot 6 offers metered parking ($0.25 for 8 minutes) as an alternative to the $9.00 parking fee.  See http://www.transportation.ucla.edu/maps/parkmap/parkmap.htm for a map of campus parking structures.


Motorcycle and scooter parking is free of charge in designated areas. There are areas north of Lot 9 (next to Ackerman Union) and west of Lot 2 (at the intersection of Westholme and Charles E. Young Drive.


Credit:  The original website for the UCLA Planetarium is located at http://www.astro.ucla.edu/planetarium/.

Similarities/Differences:  Planetarium shows are very different than being under real stars, but the visual experience can be just as breathtaking.  In a planetarium, scenes of stars, planets and other celestial objects are made to appear on a dome-shaped projection screen.  The images move realistically to simulate the complex “motions of the heavens”.  No hiking is involved; you just sit back in your theater-style seat and enjoy.

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The Mathematical Sciences building is located in south campus and has several white observatory domes on the roof.  Enter the Mathematical Sciences building in the breezeway by the vending machines.  Turn left immediately and enter the elevator.  You entered on the fifth floor. Take the elevator to the eighth floor.


Exit the elevator.  Turn left.  Turn left again, and follow the short hallway out onto the roof of the building.  (You should see signs pointing the way when you exit the elevator.)  As you walk onto the roof, the planetarium dome is directly in front of you.  


To get to the telescope, take the stairs behind you (above the door to the roof) to the 9th floor roof.  At the top of the stairs, turn right and then left at the end of the wall and you will see the dome housing the 14" telescope.

Bicycle parking is available in the Court of Sciences, just south of the Mathematical Sciences Building breezeway.


UCLA is accessible via several bus lines. They are: MTA lines 2, 21, 302, 561 and 576, Big Blue Bus lines 1, 2, 3, 8 and 12, and Culver City Bus line 6.


The UCLA Campus Express stops at Lot 2, but does not run after 7 PM during the academic year or after 6 PM during summer, winter, and spring breaks.

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