Planetarium reopens to the public – Chesapeake Public Schools 312 Cedar Road Chesapeake, VA 23322 • 757-547-0153

After closing its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chesapeake Planetarium will reopen and resume its regular programming on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

History of the Chesapeake Planetarium

The planetarium was built in 1962 with funds provided by the school board and the National Defense Education Act. The facility was one of the first planetariums in Virginia built by a public school system and was intended as an educational aid for students. Over its nearly 60-year history, thousands of students and community members have visited the facility to view educational programs. Recently, the projection system has been updated to include HD digital dome projection and computer controlled lighting.

Planetarium visit

The Chesapeake Planetarium offers free public programs Thursday nights for community members by reservation only. The reopening plan allows for a limited number of seating and all visitors over 2 years old must wear a CDC approved mask inside the planetarium. To reserve a spot, please call 547-0153. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Reservations will be held until 7:50 p.m. the program starts at 8:00 p.m. No guests will be admitted once the show has started.

COVID mitigations for shows in 2021-2022

The planetarium will follow a layered mitigation plan to prioritize the health and safety of all guests. Seating capacity will be limited to a total of 60 guests in the 110-seat theater to allow physical distance between groups. All visitors over 2 years old are required to wear a Mask approved by the CDC and masks will be available on request. Hand sanitizer will be available at the door and our housekeeping staff will be aware of public performances and will sanitize the spaces accordingly. The planetarium will remain closed to CPA classrooms during the school day until divisional field trips resume.

Upcoming shows in 2021

October – Starry creatures On the 88 constellations of the sky, you can find many animals. Some are mythical creatures from stories from the past. This show will help you recognize and locate these creatures in the night sky.

November – The winter sky Some of the brightest stars are visible in the winter sky. Watch the winter sky projected onto our dome and hear some of the mythological stories associated with these stars.

December – The Christmas Star Join us as we step back over 2000 years in time as we project the night sky as seen in 8 BC onto our dome. You will see the planets and stars as they were long ago and revisit the story of a star that marked the arrival of the holiday season.

For more information on future Planetarium programs for the public, please visit our Planetarium website.


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Arline J. Mercier

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