Masks are required as the campus is at red status.


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.



*Field Trip Information – Click Here*


Seating for Public Shows is on a first-come basis with maximum possible capacity of 94.  Doors open 30 minutes before each show and there is no admittance once show has begun.  Dates for shows are listed under the individual productions below. Please be aware that no food or drink is allowed in the Conway Corporation Center for the Sciences building.

Fall 2021 Public Show Schedule
(subject to change)

Public Shows at 8:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays  from  October 8 through October 16; October 29 through November 20; December 3 and 4.

Admission is currently free.  Donation to the Griffin Planetarium through the Secure Giving link is encouraged.

One-hour public shows will include a tour of the current evening sky and one of the following full dome productions:

Stars of the Pharaohs  CANCELED

“Travel to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar, and align huge buildings.  You’ll learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena, and experience some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in all of their original splendor.  Telly Award winner.  Narrated by John-Rhys-Davies, of the Indian Jones films and The Lord of the Rings films.”
October 1, 2 CANCELED

Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe – AND – Mexica Archaeoastronomy: Between Space and Time

  These shows intertwines science and mythology to take the viewer on a poetic journey through how the Mayans and Aztecs have viewed and understood the Universe throughout history.  The stunning visuals gives the viewer the impression of being inside a beautifully stylistic painting.”  October 8, 9

Phantom of the Universe, The Hunt for Dark Matter

  “Phantom of the Universe is an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider.  The show will reveal the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.”  It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth.  From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.”  October 15, 16 

Secret Lives of Stars








“Not all stars are created Equal.  Some are massive.  Others are tiny; almost insignificant.  The specific characteristics of a star will determine what type of life it will lead, how long it might live and even the type of death it will die.  We will witness the amazing variety of stars and peer into their secret lives.  Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart of TV’s Star Trek the Next Generation and the X-men films.  Winner of 4 Telly Awards.”  October 29, 30 


River of Bears

“During the summertime, the legendary McNeil River Alaska State Game Sanctuary hosts the largest congregation of brown bears in the world.  Bears come from hundreds of miles to the sanctuary to mate, raise cubs, and dine on the abundant sedge grass and salmon.  This show tells the remarkable story of these bears as they prepare for the coming harsh Alaska winter and the visitors and scientists who come every summer to see them.”  November 5, 6

Invaders of Mars!

  “This show highlights our ongoing exploration of Mars.  We explore the Martian surface as seen by Earth’s various spacecraft “invaders” and use the data gathered to explore the red planet as only CGI can.  We fly of the great chasms, canyons, and volcanos, descend amid the icy Martian polar caps, and withstand swirling dust devils.  Narrated by Tom Baker, of the BBC’s “Dr. Who”.  Winner of four Telly Awards.”  November 12, 13


Edge of Darkness

“Edge of Darkness is the latest full dome movie produced by Evans & Sutherland.  The film features amazing scenes of places never before seen gathered by key space missions that culminated with groundbreaking discoveries in 2015.  It features a spectacular flight through the great cliffs on comet 67P, a close look at the fascinating bright “lights” on Ceres, and the first ever close ups of dwarf binary planet Pluto/Charon and its moons.  Narrated by Hayley Atwell, Agent Carter, from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the ABC television series.” November 19, 20



Experience the Aurora

  “Over seven months in the Arctic Circle time-lapse images of the Aurora Borealis were captured with high resolution digital SLR cameras outfitted with fisheye lenses.  The results are spectacular.  For the first time the aurora has been captured as it was meant to be experienced, as a display that covers the entire sky.  This immersive show shares the science behind the aurora and tells the story of the quest to find and photograph the aurora for display in full dome theaters.  Winner of 2 Telly Awards.”  December 3, 4







Secure Giving link




Department of Physics and Astronomy

University of Central Arkansas                          phone: 501.450.5900

Conway, AR 72035                                              fax: 501.852.2286





Dr. Scott  Austin                                          

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




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 5 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.