Can you help us reach for the stars? 

The Planetarium is in dire need of some upgrades that will affect our ability to continue to offer shows to the public.
Your donation, no matter the size, can have a direct impact on Haile Planetarium continuing to be a free resource for our community.

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Thank you in advance for your generosity.



All programs and presentations are 30-60 minutes in length. All shows except for certain special events and birthday parties are free and open to the public.  

Programs available during the school year:

  • Mondays at Noon shows are open and public available September through April. They held once or twice a month. No reservations needed. 
  • Free Fridays shows are open, public, family friendly shows. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., and shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Each show includes a look at the night sky, a short video, and a full dome feature. 
  • Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. for visiting groups by reservation (859-572-5600).
  • Check the calendar link and the Special Events page for special shows on evenings and weekends.
  • If Northern Kentucky University is closed due to inclement weather, all shows at the Haile Planetarium are canceled for that date.

Available Topics


Alphabetical List of Shows

Back to the Moon For Good

  • The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface.
  • The Google Lunar XPRIZE is introduced as the largest incentivized competition to date, designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge.
  • Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.
  • 25 minutes long

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

  • Fiske Planetarium is proud to present a film showcasing the research of Colorado University - Boulder Scientist Dr. James Green.
  • This film highlights the current research of C.O.S. aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, the last instrument installed by the NASA astronauts. 
  • The Cosmic Origin Spectrograph is allowing us an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between galaxies which surrounds our own Milky Way.
  • Join us in the exploration of this hidden universe as we decode the secrets to the Origins of the Cosmos. 
  • 30 minutes long

Earth, Moon, Sun

  • A look at the Earth, Moon, Sun system and how it has influenced 
life on Earth. Learn about tides, the phases of the Moon, seasons, and 
see eclipses.
  • A production of NKU, this show includes computer generated 
simulations and high resolution photography.
  • "Earth, Moon, Sun" was voted best full-dome presentation at the 2009 conference of the Digistar planetariums.
  • Grades 4 and up.
  • 19 minutes long

Fixing Hubble

  • This video exploring the challenges and engineering behind the Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.
  • Courtesy of the Museum of Science, Boston 
  • The video includes recorded narration and music 
  • The narrator is astronaut Jeff Hoffman, one of the astronauts on Hubble’s 1993 Servicing Mission.
  • 8 minutes long

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 about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.
  • From the European Southern Observatory
  • 30 minutes long

Kentucky's Cascade Cave

  • A virtual tour of the Cascade Cave at Carter Caves State Resort Park. Produced at Northern Kentucky University's Haile Digital Planetarium, this full dome documentary includes high resolution 4k Hyperlapse (motion time-lapse) video shot on location inside Cascade Cave. We will guide you through the cave as if you were walking on the public tour. This is a great introduction to caves and the planetarium is completely accessible. 
  • The show also includes tour of the park and its trails. Take the virtual tour before you see the real thing.
  • Best for students in grades 4 and up.
  • 41 minutes long

Losing The Dark

  • Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is erasing our view of the Universe. 
  • Such pollution not only threatens astronomy, but also disrupts wildlife and even affects human health. 
  • The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are evidence of tremendous amounts of money being wasted unnecessarily lighting up the sky.
  • 'Losing the Dark' introduces and illustrates some of these issues, suggesting three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it. 
  • Este programa está disponible también en español.
  • 6 minutes long

New Horizons

  • A tour of the planets and a comet. Video covers the entire dome.
  • This immersive program takes you on a trip through our Solar system.
  • Este programa está disponible también en español.
  • Grades 5 and up.
  • 24 minutes long.

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 in this full-dome presentation.
  • Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart of TV's Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-Men films.
  • 28 minutes long

Seven Wonders

  • Travel back in time and witness the ancient wonders of the world as they have not been seen for thousands of years. Travel to Egypt to visit the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Great Pyramids, to what is now Turkey to see the original Mausoleum, to Babylon in what is now Iraq to explore the fabled Hanging Gardens, to Greece to tour the Temples of Zeus and Artemis and the island of Rhodes to stand in the shadow of the towering Colossus. We will investigate the theories of how these wonders were created and then take a tour of some of the universe’s greatest wonders. 
  • Narrated by Sean Bean.
  • 32 minutes long

Space Shapes

  • What's the difference between a sphere and a disc? A ball and a pancake? Lift off in a rocket and find out! Fly to the Moon and discover an 'orbit'. 
  • Visit the planets to see if they are round like a ball or round like a pancake. What about the Solar System, is it round like a pancake or round like a ball?
  • Grades Pre-K to 1
  • Courtesy of Ott Planetarium
  • 9 minutes long

Solar Quest

  • A full dome planetarium short feature that demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and explains that we are living with a star. 
  • High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth.
  • This show is an excellent addition to “Secret Lives of Stars” for grades 6 and up.
  • 12 minutes long

Two Small Pieces of Glass

  • The Amazing Telescope
  • This show follows two students as they learn how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe.  While looking through the telescopes, the students, along with the planetarium audience, see the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and spiral structure of galaxies.  They also learn about the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble and many others.  As the program progresses the show continues to use full dome video to present the story of the telescope and the astronomers who used them to make their dramatic discoveries.  All skies and full dome video will transport the planetarium audiences to some of the largest observatories in the world, as well as places of historical significance.  
  • Soundtrack recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra
  • Grades 5 and up
  • 26 minutes long

Wonders of the Universe

  • A tour of some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the universe. Video covers the entire dome.
  • This immersive program takes you to other planets, stars, comet, and more.
  • Grades 5 and up.
  • Este programa está disponible también en español.
  • 21 minutes long

Clockwork Skies

  • Explore the motions of the stars, Sun, Moon and planets - are they moving or are we? Learn about daily motion and the Earth's rotation; the Moon's monthly orbit of our planet and how the Earth takes a full year to travel around the Sun. The Solar System is like a giant celestial clock powered by gravity.
  • Grades K-4
  • Courtesy of Ott Planetarium
  • 5 minutes long

Cosmic Castaways

  • There are places where the night sky has no constellations. No Orion, no Big Dipper, nothing but a few lonely, far away stars and a few faint, ghostly patches of light. Most stars lie within the crowded boundaries of galaxies, travelling with their brothers and sisters in a vast galactic family. But some find themselves on their own, deep within voids between the galaxies. These are the cosmic castaways. 
  • An original production of the Ward Beecher Planetarium, this program is based partially on research by YSU’s astrophysicists Dr. John Feldmeier and Dr. Patrick Durrell. 
  • For general audiences; middle school and older.
  • Cosmic Castaways by Ward Beecher Planetarium is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
  • 20 minutes long

Dark: Understanding Dark Matter

  • A fulldome film exploring the nature of Dark Matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe. 
  • The search for Dark Matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved. 
  • In the unimaginable depths of deep time, human life is but a flickering instant - yet in that instant, we can grasp the immensity of the Universe and through science, we can attempt to understand it. 
  • 20 minutes long

Experience the Aurora

  • Over seven months of the Aurora Borealis in Arctic Circle skies were captured as timelapse images in high resolution and 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 wraparound display in fulldome theaters.
  • 27 minutes long

Journey to the Centre of the Milky Way

  • Embark on a journey to the centre of the Milky Way and travel faster than light, from the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile right to the centre of our own galaxy, where a black hole is consuming anything that strays into its path. 
  • Be immersed in 84 million stars, each hiding mysteries waiting to be solved. Are there planets around them, perhaps with moons? Do they have water? 
  • From the European Southern Observatory
  • 7 minutes long


  • Microcosm allows audiences to explore the inner workings of the human body.  You’ll shrink down to the size of a microbe and get injected into a patient who is suffering an infection from a mysterious virus.  This immersive adventure is not only exciting, but educational as well.  Traveling from the base of the eye to the interior of the beating heart.
  • Este programa está disponible también en español.
  • Grades: 6 and up.

  • 16 minutes long

Monsters of the Cosmos

  • Symphony of Science's musical description of black holes in the words of leading scientists and presenters.
  • A minishow that can be added to other shows.
  • 4 minutes long

Phantom of the Universe

  • Phantom is a new planetarium show that will showcase 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." We'll marvel at the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine.
  • From there, we'll end our journey across space and time at 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 constituent of dark matter.
  • 27 minutes long

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

  • A tour of the planets and the sun. Video covers the entire dome.
  • This immersive program follows two children on an imaginary trip through our Solar system.
  • Este programa está disponible también en español.
  • Grades K-4.
  • 42 minutes long

Sizing Up Space

  • How big is the distance between the Earth and the Sun - or between the Sun and the other planets? Discover the Light Year, the very large 'ruler' that scientists use to measure the size of Space. Be amazed by the ever-increasing distances to the nearest stars, to the edge of the Milky Way and to the farthest galaxies in the Universe.
  • Grades K-4
  • Couretesy of Ott Planetarium
  • 13 minutes long

Solar System 2015

  • The Solar System 2015 discusses our planetary system: the Sun, planets and smaller bodies too, their origin and fate. 
  • Grades 5-10
  • Courtesy of the Observatory and Planetarium in Hradec Králové
  • Translated from Czech
  • 25 minutes long


  • Discover the wonders of our Sun. 
  • Our local star's incredible energy has supported life on Earth, yet is now threatening the technology and way of life of the human species. 
  • Travel to the distant future and discover the Sun’s connection to the Universe’s cosmic cycle of life and death.
  • 20 minutes long

The Hot and Energetic Universe

  • “The Hot and Energetic Universe” presents the achievements of the modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics.
  • High Energy Astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes in the hot and violent universe.
  • High Energy Astrophysics probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies.
  • Finally, high energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our Sun which emit copious amounts of high energy radiation. Europe plays a leading role in high energy astrophysics research.
  • 25 minutes long


Art Shows


Art, Science, Wonder

  • Lift off the planet in your imagination and head straight for the Pillars of Creation. Soar above colourful nebulae, dance with a spiral galaxy and dive into a globular cluster. Enter a cosmic computer simulation and end your journey plunging through the Hubble Deep Field. 
  • Whether you choose to see the Art or the Science - the resulting emotion is Wonder.
  • 6 minutes long

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

  • 2015 was the seventh year of Astronomy Photographer of the Year, a competition that showcases the best astrophotography images from around the world. 
  • Entries from 59 different countries around the world have made the competition bigger than ever, with the images covering everything from spellbinding aurorae to beautifully intricate galaxies millions of light-years distant.
  • Images like these are an invaluable tool with which to inspire a love of astronomy in others. Each year the Royal Observatory Greenwich creates a short planetarium presentation to show off some of the winners and runners up from the competition and each year tries to distribute that show as widely as we can so that these amazing pictures can be seen by as many people as possible.
  • The video is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
  • 14 minutes long

 Infinite Horizons

  • A flight through an abstract landscape. An astounding challenge to perceptions of horizon. 
  • Finalist at the 2014 Jena Fulldome Festival.
  • A minishow that can be added to other shows.
  • 3 minutes long


  • Beautiful time-lapse photography of the natural world.
  • Will be shown on "Relax Under the Stars" Thursday shows.
  • 7 minutes long


  • An immersive animated film exploring the evolution of human perception. As digital interactions become closely integrated with tangible reality, an hybrid environment is formed.
  • 8 minutes long

In conjunction with a scheduled program, we can also run a short mini-show. Currently available are:

  • Child's First Flight - An experimental animation produced here at NKU that was Awarded Second Place at the 2003 Full Dome Animation Festival held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. - 2 minutes.
  • Compare Planets - Compare the sizes of the planets - 3 minutes.
  • Autumn's Little List - A fun, musical look at the fall constellations - 3 minutes.
  • Elements - A fun musical look at the elements produced here at NKU.  This is shown at the beginning of Wonders of the Universe - 3 minutes.
  • Infinite Horizons - A flight through an abstract landscape; an astounding challenge to perceptions of horizon - 3 minutes.
  • Monsters of the Cosmos - Symphony of Science's musical description of black holes in the words of leading scientists and presenters - 4 minutes.

New shows thanks to the British Fulldome Institute! Check out their page at