Current Planetarium Shows
Please note: Admission to Planetarium shows requires museum admission.
Polynesian Wayfinders and Summer Stars and the Mariner
Admission $4, Members $3 (Ages 3 and younger are free)
3:00 p.m. (daily)
Join us for a brand new story about maritime navigation! We will “travel” from Mystic, Connecticut to Honolulu, Hawaii, watching how the night sky changes over the course of our journey. Upon our arrival in Hawaii, we will have reached the uppermost part of the Pacific region known as Polynesia. From there, our adventure is just beginning!
Polynesia is made up of over 1,000 islands with many different ethnicities (including Samoans, Tongans, and Tahitians, just to name a few). However, rather than seeing the region as being made up of individual island nations, the people of Polynesia consider themselves to be “a nation of islands.” Despite a history that has seen struggle and conflict at times, these people believe that there is more that unites them than there is to divide them. Surely one of those uniting factors is the sense of adventure that led these people to embark on daunting journeys across wide expanses of ocean. Making their stories even more remarkable is the fact that Polynesians were able to navigate the seas without a sextant or chronometer, without a compass or a chart!
This show will celebrate the maritime culture of Polynesia, while exploring how these master navigators could find their way around the world without tools or technology.
Summer Stars and the Mariner
11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. (daily)
Discover the natural beauty of the night sky as seen from Mystic, Connecticut. Prepare yourself for some stargazing in your own backyard by learning how to use the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star. Once you’ve got your bearings, we can locate some of the major constellations of the summer night sky, including Ursa Major, Cygnus the Swan, and Scorpius the Scorpion.
We’ll also explore the visible planets of the season, as well as examine our closest celestial neighbor – the Moon! This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, during which humans first set foot on the surface of the moon. Our show will celebrate this historic milestone, while also looking forward to the future of space exploration.
Finally, we’ll provide a brief overview of how sailors would navigate the seas guided by the stars. Celestial navigation is a complex subject, but some of the concepts can be best explained under the stars!
Stars to Guide the Way
Since 1960, the Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport Museum has been a center for science education, inspiring visitors to draw connections between our maritime history and the world around us. When we look up at the sky, we see the very same stars that guided sailors long ago, as they developed their navigational tools and instruments. Over time, we have come a long way, from the compass and sextant to the GPS units that many of our smartphones have. In order to truly appreciate the technological luxuries we enjoy today, it is important now more than ever to preserve the traditions of the past.
Inside the Planetarium
Your family can participate in all of our shows at the Treworgy Planetarium, each one a live program delivered by a dynamic member of the Planetarium staff. Come see the sun, moon, planets, and stars like you’ve never seen them before! You will be immersed in a sea of stars, and the constellations will guide us on an unforgettable journey through the galaxy.
What’s in a Name?
If you’re wondering how our name is pronounced, think “TRUE-urr-gee.” Originally named the “Seaport Planetarium,” the Planetarium was re-named in 2009 in memory of Don Treworgy. Don worked at the Planetarium for 48 years, including 44 years as its Director, and was beloved by the Museum’s staff, volunteers, and visitors. The current staff is honored to work at a Planetarium that bears Don’s name, and his memory inspires us to continue the mission of education in the fields of Astronomy, Navigation, and Maritime History.