Reynolds Science Center Planetarium

The Reynolds Planetarium at Henderson State University is a one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and special occasion place located in the heart of Southwest Arkansas. Open to the public for shows, star-gazing events, field trips, and private functions, the planetarium reflects Henderson State University's commitment to service through educational engagement with the community.  The planetarium is located inside the Reynolds Science Center and run by the Department of Engineering and Physics.

With an 8.2 meter (27.5 ft) diameter dome and state of the art Digitalis Gamma Digital Projection system, The Reynolds Planetarium is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the state of Arkansas. The Digitalis Gamma system can project stars, planets, galaxies, and virtually anything else onto the dome as they look in the real sky (including both the Northern and Southern hemispheres - when was the last time you saw the Southern Cross?) as well as immerse the audience in a full-dome animation show. Shows combine stunning visual effects on the dome with powerful surround sound to transport audiences to all reaches of the universe, from a light-speed trip to see mysterious black holes to the Stars of the Pharaohs.

The Donald W. Reynolds planetarium is a member of the Southwestern Association of Planetariums (SWAP) and the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).

Planetarium Schedule: Fall 2017 - Spring 2018 Public Show Schedule

When you attend a planetarium show, you will be given a tour of the night's sky, visiting beautiful planets, nebulae, and galaxies. Before your show begins, your guide will point out the fascinating objects you can see that night with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Plan for 10-15 minutes in addition to the length of your show.

All public shows listed in the schedule will start promptly at 7 p.m., and no late entries will be allowed.

Cost 

  • General Public - $3 per person
  • HSU students, faculty and staff - $1 with school ID
  • OBU students, faculty, and staff - $1 with school ID

September 7 at 7 PM “The Cowboy Astronomer”

The Cowboy Astronomer is a skillfully woven tapestry of star tales and Native American legends, combined with constellation identification, star-hopping, and astronomy tidbits — all told from the unique viewpoint of a cowboy astronomer who has traveled the world plying his trade and learning the sky along the way. (37 min)

September 21 at 7 PM “Black Holes – The other side of infinity”

Be dazzled by the visualizations of the formation of the early universe, star birth, and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. (24 min)

October 5 at 7 PM “Dawn of the Space Age”

From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings – be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion and their perseverance to explore. (36 Min)

October 19 at 7 PM “Mars Quest”

Developed in conjunction with research scientists involved with NASA’s current and future Mars missions. This show discusses the Mars of the past, what we know of Mars now and what we hope to be the Mars of the future. (41 min.)

November 9 at 7 PM “Secrets of the Sun”

Secrets of the Sun allow audiences to experience an intimate look at the role the sun plays in the life of our Solar System. From the nuclear forces churning at the heart of the sun to the mass ejections of solar material into the surrounding space, we will experience the power of the sun and its impact on the planets and ultimately life on Earth. We will trace the life cycle of the sun itself, going back to its beginnings and moving forward in time to its eventual death. (21 min)

November 16 at 7 PM “Nine Planets and Counting”

A Sudekum Planetarium production about the International Astronomical Union’s struggle to define a planet and how that definition might affect how scientists perceive and count the planets in our own solar system. (35 Min).

November 30 at 7 PM “Mystery of the Christmas Star”

Journey back over 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. (31 min)

December 7 at 6 PM “Mystery of the Christmas Star”

Journey back over 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. (31 min)

January 25 at 7 PM “Super Volcanoes”

Super volcanoes explore rare types of volcanic eruptions that marshal the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The story of these big blow-outs is a tale of havoc and mayhem: mass extinctions, climate collapses, and violence beyond anything humans have ever witnessed. In this unique immersive experience, audiences will explore the impact of volcanism on Earth and other worlds in our solar system. Can a super volcano erupt in our own time? The answer is surprisingly close to home. (24 min)

February 8 at 7 PM “Saturn – Jewel of the Heavens”

The Cassini space craft has lifted the veil on this once mysterious giant of our solar system. Data has been collected, not only on the giant itself, but also on the many moons orbiting Saturn and the countless particles encircling the planet known to all as the rings of Saturn. This data will be studied for years to come. (36 min)

February 22 at 7 PM “3000 Years of Stargazing”

Throughout time, the sky has piqued our curiosity. Eclipses, the regular cycle of the seasons, the rising and setting of the Moon, Sun, and planets, the motion of the stars — all have fascinated mankind since our earliest ancestors first looked up to the night time sky. Monuments constructed across our home planet, from Stonehenge to Machu Picchu, bear witness to humanity's ancient fascination with the stars. (34 Min)

March 8 at 7 PM “Dawn of the Space Age”

From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings – be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion and their perseverance to explore. (36 Min)

March 29 at 7 PM “Two Small Pieces of Glass”

How the telescope has changed our few of the heavens from its inception, development, improvement and what is in store for the future of watching the stars. (25 min)

April 12 at 7 PM “Stars of the Pharaohs”

Travel to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar, and align huge buildings. Learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena, and experience some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in its original splendor. (36 min)

April 19 at 7 PM “Exoplanets”

Join mankind’s first space probe as it journeys outside our solar system to the many new worlds astronomers are discovering beyond. Audiences will visit gas giants caught in a deadly dance with their host stars, frozen rogue planets hurling through space, molten rocky worlds now known to science and new planets drifting comfortably within the Goldilocks Zone, the area around a star where Earth-like worlds may exist. Audiences will also learn new insight about our Earth, Moon, Sun and the remarkable Solar System we inhabit. (26 min)

Group Showings

The planetarium accommodates various school and community groups throughout the year that wish to visit during the school day. The Department of Engineering and Physics will make every reasonable effort to schedule a show for your group.  

For each group show, the cost is $50 for up to 45 people.  Contact us for group pricing of larger groups.  

To schedule a show for your group, contact:

Denise Cordova
cordovd@hsu.edu
870-230-5162
or
Dr. Rick McDaniel
mcdanir@hsu.edu 
870-230-5170

Click here for a list of Planetarium Shows currently available.