Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, as a unit of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has suspended public operations until further notice because of ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) concerns. Please read our full statement here. 

Mobile Planetarium

The leading fulldome digital video mobile planetarium in North Carolina

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

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

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.

This show sharpens observational skills while teaching children about Earth and how to find objects in the night sky.

Recommended for Grades K-2

This show provides an exciting ride through our Solar System, with stops at Earth and several of its planetary neighbors.

Recommended for Grades 3-5

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.

Recommended for Grades 6-12

Schools*

  • One-day visit: $425
    • Maximum number of sessions: 4
  • Each additional, consecutive day: $150 per day

Scholarship assistance is available pending qualifications.

Special Events*

  • Two-hour visit: $350
    • Maximum number of sessions: 1
  • Extended Fee: $75 per hour

Travel Fees

  • Sites within 90 miles of Chapel Hill: $50 per day
  • Sites more than 90 miles from Chapel Hill: $200 per day
  • All travel fees are calculated using Google Maps.

*Mobile planetarium visit fees are subject to NC State and Local Sales & Use taxes applicable to the county in which the visit occurs.

Maximum Capacity**

Kindergarten – 3rd Grade: 30 students
4th Grade – 7th Grade: 24 students
8th Grade – 12th Grade: 20 students

Schools

  • 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

  • Adults must be present for the duration of the visit.
  • September – May: Morehead’s mobile planetarium is available to come to visits outside of regular 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.
  • June – August: 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.

**Mobile planetarium capacity varies by age group. The mobile planetarium can also accommodate two adults in addition to student participants.

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.

Nick Eakes | Mobile Planetarium Outreach Educator
neakes@live.unc.edu
919.962.8438