Planetarium

Dr. Edmond E. Griffin Planetarium

The Dr. Edmond E. Griffin Planetarium, located on the University of Central Arkansas Campus in the Conway Corporation Center for the Sciences, serves as an astronomy and science education resource center for central Arkansas.  The planetarium is part of the outreach component of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and as such, it supports astronomy teaching on campus, as well as, offers planetarium shows to school groups and the general public.

PLANETARIUM PANORAMA

VIDEO INTRODUCTION

 

*Field Trip Information – Click Here*

 

Fall 2022 Public Shows

The one-hour shows are Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:00pm.  Entry to the planetarium will start at 6:50pm.  No admittance once the show starts at 7pm.  Seating for Public Shows is on a first-come basis with maximum possible capacity of 94Please be aware that no food or drink is allowed in the Conway Corporation Center for the Sciences building.  Admission is currently free.  Donations to the Griffin Planetarium through the Secure Giving link are encouraged.

Shows include a tour of the current evening sky and one of the following full-dome productions.

December 2 and 3:  The Sun Our Living Star

“The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived.  It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilizations.  Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined.  Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive fulldome format.

December 9 and 10:  Mayan and Aztec Archaeoastronomy

“In a feast of colours and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

“Through impressive immersive scenarios, “Mexica Archaeoastronomy: between space and time” illustrates the important role played by astronomical observation for the evolution of pre-Hispanic cultures in central Mexico. The Mexicas used the calendrical and astronomical knowledge inherited by their predecessor cultures to found the capital of their empire: Tenochtitlan. Vibrant colors, shapes and sounds transport the viewer to one of the most important cultures that, to this day, still lives of the Mexican people.”

 

 

 

 

SUPPORT GRIFFIN:

Secure Giving link

 

ABOUT:

Contact:

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Central Arkansas                          phone: 501.450.5900

Conway, AR 72035                                              fax: 501.852.2286

 

 

Staff:

 

Dr. Scott  Austin                                                    saustin@uca.edu

Director of Astronomical Facilities

Associate Professor of Astronomy and Physics

Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Central Arkansas                          phone: 501.450.5907

Conway, AR 72035                                              fax: 501.852.2286

 

History:

 

From 1987 to 2015, the original UCA planetarium that was located in Lewis Science Center used an electromechanical planetarium projector and a thirty-foot dome to simulate the sky as seen from the surface of the Earth.

 

The current digital planetarium in the Conway Corporation Center for the Sciences consists of 94 seats under a forty-foot diameter dome onto which an Evans & Sutherland dual projector Digistar 7 system creates a virtual universe.  The universe can now be seen from other locations in the universe, such as, in orbit around Saturn, near a binary star system in our galaxy, or from a galaxy a several million light years from the Earth.

 

The building of a new planetarium was supported by Dr. Sue Griffin, a world-class neuroscientist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and named in memory of her husband Dr. Ed Griffin, a long-time faculty member, chair of the UCA Biology Department, and astronomy enthusiast.