Mesa Community College invites the public to explore the amazing Universe in our state-of-the-art Planetarium! Our Astronomy Nights are the first Friday of the month during the Spring and Fall semesters. Planetarium shows run from 6:00-10:00 PM, typically every 30 minutes.
Astronomy Nights at the MCC Planetarium will return in September. During the summer you can follow two exciting missions making history! Two objects in the Solar System, dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres, are going to change from moving dots seen among the distant stars to surprising worlds to explore!
The Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around 1 Ceres in March. Ceres is the largest body in the asteroid belt. Throughout 2015, Dawn will spiral closer to Ceres and send back ever-improving images and data to provide the very first views of the Cerean surface. Follow Dawn at dawn.jpl.nasa.gov
The New Horizons spacecraft is approaching the Pluto system and will fly by on July 14. Recent images sent back from New Horizons show the first hints of surface features on Pluto and its large moon Charon. Other images show the tiny moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra orbiting Pluto. Image quality will improve dramatically throughout May, June, and July. For news and information about this mission, visit the official website at pluto.jhuapl.edu
During Astronomy Nights, we also offer telescope viewing of the Moon, planets, and other celestial sights. Unlike the planetarium shows, telescope viewing will only occur if the skies are clear.
Groups of 25 or more are encouraged to click on the "Schedule a Private Visit" button on the left side of this page to schedule a custom show at the Planetarium.
Astronomy Nights are held at the Physical Science Building (PS 15) just east of Dobson Road, two traffic lights south of Southern Avenue. Please see the map for our location on MCC's Southern & Dobson campus.
The Planetarium is located on the south side of the Physical Science Building and is labeled with "PLANETARIUM" in large black letters which are visible from Dobson Road and the MCC driveway leading from Dobson Road.
Free parking is available in the lots south of the Physical Science Building. Please avoid parking in the spaces marked "EMPLOYEES" until after 6:00 PM.
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