No public and field-trip shows during the spring 2021 semester.  Check back August 2021. 

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.



No public and field-trip shows during spring semester 2021.  Check back August 2021.

*Field Trip Information – Click Here*


Seating for Public Shows is on a first-come basis with maximum capacityof 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.

Spring 2020 Public Show Schedule

Public Shows at 8:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays  from  January 10 through March 21April 3 through April 25   CANCELED

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:

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.”  January 10, 11

From Earth to the Universe

  “The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people.  A desire to comprehend the universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience.  Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos.  To learn more about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience “From Earth to the Universe”.”  January 17, 18

The Hot and Energetic Universe

  “High-energy astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe.  See how various probes observe the hottest phenomena in the universe.  High-energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, supermassive black holes, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun.”  January 24, 25

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.” January 31, February 1

The Dark Matter Mystery:  Exploring a Cosmic Secret

“What keeps Galaxies together?  What are the building blocks of the Universe?  What makes the Universe look the way it looks today?  Researches all around the world try to answer these questions.  We know today that approximately a quarter of the Universe is filled with a mysterious glue:  Dark Matter.  We know that is is out there.  But we have no idea what it is made out of.  This planetarium show takes you on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics.  You will see why we know that Dark Matter exists, and how this search is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer.  Join the scientists on their hunt for Dark Matter with experiments in space and deep underground.  Will they be able to solve the Dark Matter Mystery?”   February 7, 8

The Sun: Our Living Star

“The sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years.  it is the nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives the weather and life.  Discover the secrets of our star and experience never-before-seen images of the sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format.”  February 14, 15

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.”  February 21, 22

Out There, The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds

  “For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe.  Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos.  The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way.  With the worlds most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe.  What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectation of scientists as well as authors of science fiction.  Most stars have planets-it turns our they are more common than we thought.  A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.”  February 28, 29


“Follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before traveling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone’s retina.  This full dome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain.  Narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson.”  March 6, 7

Stars of the Pharaohs

“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.”  March 13, 14  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.”  March 20, 21 CANCELED

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.”  April 3, 4  CANCELED

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.”  April 10, 11 CANCELED


  “Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun.  Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it and how its energy will one day fade away.”  April 17, 18 CANCELED

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.”  April 24, 25 CANCELED





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.