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Morehead Mobile Planetarium

Founded in 2010, Morehead’s mobile planetarium (formerly known as PLANETS) is the leading fulldome digital video mobile planetarium in North Carolina. Morehead’s mobile planetarium provides an inflatable dome, a digital projection system and an inventory of shows to serve all grade levels. 

Planning Your Visit

During the school year (Sep-May), Morehead’s mobile planetarium is available to North Carolina schools. During summer (Jun-Aug), Morehead’s mobile planetarium is available to other groups by reservation, including day camps, Scout or 4-H events, homeschool groups or YMCA programs.

Shows Offered | Fees and Requirements

Request a Visit Cancellation Policy | Show Details

Shows Offered

See detailed shows information below.

Fees and Requirements

For School

  • $425 per day, $150 for each additional consecutive day.
  • 4 shows per day
  • Maximum capacity of 30 children Grades K-3, 24 children Grades 4-7, 20 children Grades 8-12 per show.
  • Each show 60 minutes.
  • Teacher must be present during shows.
  • Schools 90 miles from Chapel Hill or Tier 1 (low wealth) school districts receive priority for mobile planetarium visits.
  • Sites within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill have a $50 travel fee per day.
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill have an additional $200 travel fee per each day required. This fee may be adjusted if visits are scheduled for nearby sites on consecutive days. 

For Special Events

  • $350 for up to 2 hours, $75 per each additional hour.
  • (Sep-May) Morehead’s mobile planetarium is available to come to visits outside of school hours. 
  • Sites within a 90-mile radius of Chapel Hill have a $50 travel fee per day.
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill have an additional $200 travel fee per each day required. This fee may be adjusted if visits are scheduled for nearby sites on consecutive days. 
  • (Jun-Aug) Morehead’s mobile planetarium is available to visit day camps and other groups that are within a two-hour radius of Chapel Hill.
  • Email planets@unc.edu for more information.

For Site

  • Quiet indoor room.
  • Minimum floor space: 30 feet by 30 feet.
  • Minimum ceiling height: 13 feet with no obstructions (light fixtures, etc.)
  • 2 grounded 120-volt standard electrical outlets.
  • Clean, swept floor.
  • Air conditioning (required May-Sep.)
  • Adjustable lighting (when available)
  • For multi-day visits, the mobile planetarium must remain in the locked facility.

See the mobile planetarium's setup in the video at the top of the page.

Request a Visit

  • Submit a request at the link at the top of the page.
  • Confirm with your school how fees will be paid and provide information on the online request form.
  • Forms submitted by early September of the current school year receive priority scheduling. Forms can be submitted at any time during the year. Scheduling for visits is based on remaining availability.
  • If selected to receive a mobile planetarium visit, Morehead will send a notification email with visit dates and guidelines.

Cancellation Policy

Visits canceled two weeks prior to visit date are eligible for a refund of fees. Visits canceled less than two weeks prior to visit date are not eligible for a refund of fees. Morehead may waive this policy if the visit is canceled due to school closure for inclement weather, fire or other emergency condition.

Show Details

Animated Shows

These shows are the same fulldome digital planetarium shows that you would see if you visited Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill (listed below by recommended grade level).

  • Astronaut - Recommended for Grades 4-12
    What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? How does the human body respond to the environment of space? What does it take to become an astronaut? Narrated by Ewan McGregor. Curriculum Guide PDF
  • Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown - Recommended for Grades 6-12
    Witness what would happen if you traveled too close to a black hole and watch as it warps the very fabric of time and space! No longer the stuff of science fiction, black holes are mysterious, invisible objects that confound our common-sense understanding of the universe. Narrated by Geoffrey Rush.
  • Earth, Moon and Sun  - Recommended for Grades 2-5
    This show examines the Earth-Moon-Sun system with the help of Coyote, a character adapted from Native American oral traditions. Topics include why the Sun rises and sets; how Earth's rotation and revolution relate to day and night; and the Moon's orbit, phases, eclipses and surface features. Curriculum Guide PDF
  • Grossology and You  - Recommended for Grades 3-7
    A wise respiratory system once said, "Gross is in the eye of the beholder." After watching this planetarium show, you may start thinking differently about the "gross" side of the human body and what it does to protect us every day. Join Noreen Neuron, host of the “Personal Universe” game show, as she leads us through a competition to decide which body system is the best and brightest. Will it be Scabby (the immune system), Boogie (the respiratory system) or Flatus (the digestive system)? Laugh and learn as these animated characters explore the inner workings of the human body!
  • Magic Tree House: Space Mission  - Recommended for Grades K-3
    From the best-selling Magic Tree House series of children's books, characters Jack and Annie are your guides in this original Morehead production. Join them on a fun-filled journey as they discover the secrets of our Sun and Moon, planets, space travel and more. Curriculum Guide PDF
  • Solar System Odyssey  - Recommended for Grades 3-8
    In this new Morehead-produced adventure set in the future, a tycoon sends our hero on a mission to discover a new home for humans. This show transports audiences on a wild ride through our cosmic neighborhood, including the icy rings of Saturn, Jupiter's volcano-ridden moon Io and the sub-zero methane lakes of Titan. Curriculum Guide PDF (English) (Spanish)

Live Shows

These shows are narrated by a Morehead educator and are designed especially for Morehead’s mobile planetarium. The live format encourages questions and allows you to pace the show for your classroom needs.

  • Moving All Around - Recommended for Grades K-2
    This show sharpens observational skills while teaching children about Earth and how to find objects in the night sky. Curriculum Guide PDF

  • Surveying the Solar System - Recommended for Grades 3-5
    This show provides an exciting ride through our Solar System, with stops at Earth and several of its planetary neighbors.

  • Customized Live Presentation - Recommended for Grades 6-12
    This show can include a "space tour" of planets, stars and deep-space objects. To discuss options for customized live presentations, please call the Morehead’s mobile planetarium educator at 919-962-8438.