FAQs | Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
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FAQs

Can I buy tickets by telephone?

Tickets are available online or in advance in our Gift Shop for most programs starting about 2 weeks in advance. If you have issues with online tickets, you are welcome to give us a call and we can help resolve the issue. For credit card security purposes, we are unable to take payments over the phone.

Can I buy tickets in advance?

Yes! Tickets to most shows will go on sale online and in the Gift Shop 2 weeks in advance, and are available until the day of the show (day-of tickets only available in the Gift Shop). Check our calendar for a list of upcoming shows, and click on the show you're interested in to purchase tickets. Some special shows such as Starry Nights, Star Families, etc, will go on sale more than 2 weeks in advance. During the regular school year, when capacity to the show is very limited, online and advance sales may not be available, and tickets will only be available in the Gift Shop on the day of the show. If this is the case, it will be noted in the show description online. 

Why don’t you offer regularly scheduled shows on weekdays during the School Year?

Morehead offers regularly scheudled shows on weekdays (except Monday) during the summer and during the last two weeks of December. During the rest of the year, school classes and other groups can make a reservation to see a specific show during the week. The general public can buy tickets to these shows, which are listed on the home page calendar, if seats remain. However, if the group that made the reservation does not come for any reason, Morehead reserves the right not to run the show. If we do not have any school groups that day, there won't be any scheduled shows. If capacity to a weekday show is limited, advance sales may not be available for that show.

Where do I park?
Why is there a charge to park in the Morehead lot?

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill operates the parking lot through its Department of Public Safety. The University is faced with an ongoing parking shortage and does not offer free parking in any campus lot during the workday. For more information, please visit the parking page.

Do you still have laser shows?

Morehead offered laser shows for the final time in fall 2009. In January 2010, Morehead installed a new fulldome digital video projection system that is capable of offering superior "visual experience" shows.

Do you have any shows in Spanish?

Solar System Odyssey, Astronaut, Black Holes, Dynamic Earth, and Grossology are available in Spanish by advance request. For group field trips, Morehead can present the show entirely in Spanish. Morehead can also present the show in English and provide an assistive listening device for a guest who needs to hear a Spanish translation of the show.

Which shows would be good for my child?

Each show page has guidelines for the age appropriateness for that show.

How do I learn about Morehead activities?

The Morehead website is the best source of information about Morehead activities. It is updated frequently and provides daily listings of shows and events.

If you are a Morehead member and you provided your e-mail address with your membership application, you’ll receive e-mail announcements before special events. You’ll also receive notice of special members-only opportunities through the e-mail announcement list.

Morehead also offers eNews, a free monthly e-mail newsletter for the public.

When will Morehead finish its renovation project?

We began renovations in May 2019, and our theater and gift shop re-opened in June, but our exhibits and science stage venues will continue to be under renovation until early spring 2020. Check back soon for updates on when these spaces will re-open!. Planning for the renovation was initially announced on April 6, 2017. 

Can my grandchildren visit Morehead using my membership? What about other family members? What about a caregiver or babysitter?

All of Morehead's general membership categories provide benefits for one or two adults and their children or grandchildren (ages 18 or younger) living in the same household, up to 5 total guests per show.

Those benefits do not extend to adult children, adult siblings or nieces and nephews of any age. However, each membership packet includes several guest passes, which members may use to provide admission to other family members.

A caregiver or babysitter may accompany children, using the membership card, if a parent or grandparent is not present.

Can my children use membership benefits when they visit the planetarium on their school field trips?

Because children (and their adult chaperones) are registered for admission as a group when they visit Morehead on school or other field trips, they cannot use their membership benefits for admission.

How do I register my children for summer camp and special programs?

You are able to register online for camps and special events. Look for the registration button on the webpage for the program.

My company will match charitable contributions. Can I use this to help cover membership or special event costs?

Not usually. Most companies do not match charitable contributions if the donor receives a benefit in exchange for his or her donation. Although some Morehead members are able to match their membership dues or ticket purchases with company support, many are not.

If your company matches charitable contributions, your company’s human resources office can provide an official form for you. Please read the form carefully to determine your company’s guidelines and, if those guidelines permit, submit the form with your membership application or event payment. Usually, it only works if you have covered the full cost of the membership or the event tickets yourself, and the company's contribution gives you, as the donor, no benefit -- other than feeling good about yourself!

 

How do I get my membership number or member card?

Your membership number will be included in your acknowledgement email, if purchased online, which you will recieve the day following your purchase. If you've purchased your membership in person in the Gift Shop, our staff can look up your member number for you.

However, you will not often need your member number itself - we can look up your membership credentials with your name, mailing address, or email. If purchasing online, you can create a login for our ticket site that will be able to validate your membership. When registering, be sure you use the same first and last name, mailing address, and email address you provided when you purchased your membership so our ticket site is able to match your information to our membership database and load your discounts. For issues with membership tickets purchased online, give us a call.

We've recently moved away from paper membership cards in an effort to be more environmentally friendly, but we are happy to print and send a membership card if you would like a physical copy. You will be able to use your membership acknowledgement email, which will have your member number, name, and expiration date as your member card when using benefits at other museums or science centers.

As a Morehead member, am I eligible for benefits at any other museum?

Yes! As of May 1, 2006, Morehead participates in the Passport Program of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). Morehead members may show their membership cards at any other Passport Program participant to receive free admission or other benefits. Please note that, following ASTC policy, this benefit does not apply to Passport Program participants within a 90-mile radius of Morehead.

There are more than 300 Passport Program participants in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries. For a complete list of ASTC Passport Program participants and other information about this benefit, please visit the ASTC website.

Morehead also has a reciprocal program with the NC Zoo, where Morehead members receive a 50 percent discount on admission after showing their Morehead membership card and a matching I.D.

Why is your name now “Morehead Planetarium and Science Center?”

In 2002, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center expanded its mission to embrace all sciences – not just astronomy. In the coming years, Morehead's program offerings will increase dramatically, and the Morehead Building will be renovated to reflect this expanded mission.

Can I have a corporate outing there?

Any corporate or other private group that wants a private show for guests in the GSK Fulldome Theater may book a group reservation. Additional fees for a private show may apply.

Can I look through the big telescope at the planetarium?

The observatory (the dome you see on the east end of the building) and its 24-inch reflecting telescope is not part of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. The UNC Department of Physics and Astronomy operates the observatory and its telescope. You can visit the observatory on Guest Night each month. To learn more and to reserve a spot, visit the Morehead Observatory's website.

I heard I can get a star named for me. How does that work?

Although there are some for-profit companies that will (for a price) mail you a certificate that names "your" star, this is for entertainment purposes and is not valid in the scientific community. Want to know more? See what the International Astronomical Union says about this.

My organization is having a charity event. How can I get a donation from Morehead?

To be considered for a donation, your organization must:

  • be recognized as a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization by the IRS
  • be based in North Carolina
  • send a written request on official organization letterhead to 
  • Morehead Planetarium Development Office, CB #3480, UNC, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 at least 30 days before the donation is needed

An organization may submit only one request during the academic year (July–June). Morehead reserves the right to refuse or modify a donation request, and donations cannot be exchanged for cash or merchandise.

What happened to the Orrery?

When the planetarium first opened in 1949, it featured a Copernican Orrery — a room-sized model of the Solar System, with each planet orbiting the Sun at the correct speed relative to the other planets. The Orrery entertained and educated visitors for more than 50 years before its mechanism stalled beyond repair. Today, the Orrery has been renamed the Lower Exhibit Gallery and houses exhibits.