The UCLA Planetarium

The UCLA Planetarium is a unique and intimate setting where UCLA astronomy students, K-12 students from throughout Los Angeles, and the L.A. community at large learn about the Universe at shows presented primarily by astronomy graduate students. These shows are presented at no cost during the academic year.

The star projector, comprising a telescope and eyepieces, is at the heart of any planetarium, recreating the night sky on the inside of the dome.

UCLA’s Celestron telescope uses incandescent light bulbs and pinhole screens to produce stars. This gives audiences stunning views of lunar craters and mare, cloud patterns on Jupiter, Saturn’s rings, star systems, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.

Click on the arrows below to scroll through opportunities offered by this unique spot at UCLA

Exploring Your Universe

The Planetarium hosts dozens of shows throughout Exploring Your Universe, UCLA’s largest annual science outreach event attended by 9,000+ visitors of all ages.

Grad students from the departments of Physics & Astronomy and Earth, Planetary & Space Sciences organize the free, day-long event, which showcases math and science departments across UCLA through dozens of fun, hands-on activities, demonstrations and experiments.

The Planetarium is one of EYU’s most popular activities, attracting hundreds of attendees to it and the adjacent telescopes.

Outreach to Schools

UCLA’s award-winning Astronomy Live! program brings interactive, hands-on demonstrations and activities to local elementary and middle schools, sparking young students’ interest in astronomy and science.

The program, run by Physics & Astronomy grad students, includes the participation of UCLA grad students, undergraduates, and faculty.

For high school students, UCLA offers an annual eight-week summer observing workshop on campus, introducing them to scientific research through observational astronomy.

Free Planetarium Shows

Throughout the school year, groups of K-12 students are offered free, hour-long planetarium shows highlighting basic concepts of astronomy such as celestial motion, altitude and azimuth, and the ecliptic.

Members of the public can also attend free shows every Wednesday evening throughout the year. After the show, these audiences – which include UCLA students, alumni, and parents with their children – are treated to a telescope viewing hosted by the UCLA Undergraduate Astronomy Club.

Our hopes for the future

Major philanthropic investment is essential to modernize the Planetarium and secure the future of this beloved campus landmark. While UCLA is a public university, state support provides the barest foundation for UCLA’s budget. This means that we rely on philanthropy to support our mission of teaching, research and service, and to keep us at the forefront of discovery.

Priority areas include:

  • Ensuring wheelchair accessibility and ADA compliance
  • Cosmetic improvements to the Dome
  • Purchase of a smaller, state-of-the-art star projector to improve the viewing experience and increase seating capacity
  • Replacing and upgrading equipment and improving network access
  • Renovating 8th floor elevator to improve access and reliability
  • Improving rooftop area surrounding the Dome to create a small event space
  • Improving signage and wayfinding systems
  • Creating an endowment for ongoing maintenance and technology upgrades
  • Creating an endowment to support astronomy graduate students, and outreach and education programs.

Philanthropic investment in the Planetarium now will ensure its ability to inspire children, astronomy students, amateur stargazers, and professional astronomers for generations to come.

To learn how you can support the Planetarium, please contact Brooke Sanders at or (310) 794-9045.