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Planetarium FAQ - Public Shows

Where is the planetarium located?

The planetarium is located in the Maxwell Center building. Once you turn into campus, signs will direct you. Here is a link to a web page with directions, a campus map, and parking info. Maxwell is building #1 on the campus map: yhc.edu/about/maps-directions-parking.
 

Where can planetarium visitors park?

Here is a link to a web page with more information about planetarium parking: yhc.edu/academics/math-science/rollins-planetarium/parking.
 

What are your general policies?

  • Food and drink are not permitted in the planetarium.
  • Once a show has started, if you leave the planetarium for any reason, re-entry is not allowed due to safety regulations in the darkened environment.
  • Please silence all electronic devices during the show, and make sure all display screens stay powered off. The light from the screen can ruin the dark sky effect for other visitors.  
     

How much does it cost to attend a public show? 

The admission fee is $3 per student/child (age 5 and above) and $5 per adult. YHC students, faculty and staff are admitted free with YHC I.D.  Children under 5 are also admitted free.
 

What forms of payment do you accept? 

At the current time, all ticket sales are cash only. No checks accepted, and no debit or credit cards accepted. NOTE: Coming soon, we hope to be able to accept debit and credit cards in conjunction with online ticket sales.
 

Can I purchase tickets in advance?

The ticket booth in the planetarium lobby opens 30 minutes before each showtime. Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. All seats are general admission, with no assigned seating. If a show is completely sold out, which occasionally happens, we will run it again for the overflow crowd immediately after the previous showing is finished. In this way, visitors who have driven some distance are assured of seeing the show even if it’s sold out, assuming they don’t mind waiting for the overflow presentation. NOTE: Coming soon, we also hope to offer online ticket sales in advance.
 

When do you offer planetarium shows for the general public?

We offer at least 30 Friday-evening shows per year. The shows usually begin at 8:00pm, but are moved to 8:30pm during the summer months due to later onset of darkness. For special shows like Cosmic Concerts or holiday presentations, we may offer two showings at 7:00 & 8:00pm. And from time to time, we have Kids Night programs for children and families beginning at 7:30pm. For a complete schedule, please visit our public show web page at: yhc.edu/academics/math-science/rollins-planetarium/public-shows.
Keep in mind the planetarium is not open every Friday night, so always check the above web page, or call our program information line at (706) 379-5195, for the current schedule.

 

How early should I arrive? 
We recommend arriving at least 15-20 minutes before showtime—folks who do so are generally able to find good seats without difficulty.
 

Why is there no late entry allowed to the planetarium? 

The planetarium is not like a movie theater—once the doors are closed and the show begins, the planetarium environment can be extremely dark. For the safety of our visitors and in order to prevent accidents, late entry is not allowed.  
 

Why is there no re-entry allowed if I need to leave in the middle of the show? 

As explained in the previous question, once the show starts, the planetarium becomes extremely dark. If you leave in the middle of the show, you’ll be in the brightly-lit lobby and your eyes will no longer be adjusted for the darkness. If you tried to re-enter the planetarium, you would not be able to see anything, which would not be safe for you or our other visitors.
 

How long does a public show typically last? 

The length can vary a bit depending on the show, but 45-60 minutes is typical.
 

Is there an age limit for the public shows?

We do not set an age limit for children to visit the planetarium. We rely on parents to use their discretion as to whether it will be suitable. If a child can be reasonably quiet for the 45-60 minute duration of most of our shows, then it is fine for them to attend.
 

How often do you change public shows?

We typically change show titles at least every couple of months or so. In recent years, the schedule has typically consisted of six different “feature” shows per year, plus a couple of limited-run specials like Kids Night or Skies Over Georgia. As mentioned above, you can always check the planetarium web page, or call our program information line at (706) 379-5195, for the current show schedule. 
 

Why do you offer public shows only on Friday evenings? Why not weekdays or Saturdays and Sundays?

The planetarium is an academic facility of Young Harris College. Since the planetarium is utilized by the College astronomy department for classes and labs, and also made available to visiting K-12 schools and other groups for weekday field trips, the available times for public shows are limited. 
 

Do you also have an observatory where I can look through a telescope? When is the observatory open to the public? 

Yes, we have an observatory featuring a 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope, which is located about 1.5 miles from campus adjacent to Brasstown Valley Resort.  Maps are available in the planetarium lobby if needed. If skies are clear, the observatory is open immediately after the Friday-evening planetarium shows end. There is no additional charge for visiting the observatory. The observing session will last up to an hour and will include a guided tour of the constellations using a special green astronomy laser. Weather permitting, the observatory is open on the same dates the planetarium is open. Please keep in mind the observatory is not heated or air-conditioned, so dress accordingly.
 

What are Cosmic Concerts and do you still offer them?

Cosmic Concerts are purely entertainment-based shows using beautiful, colorful laser or full-dome projected images set to music—and yes, we still offer them periodically. They are very different from our astronomy or star shows, which have the goal of educating as well as entertaining. At Rollins Planetarium, we have a long tradition of Cosmic Concerts, which are quite popular with both the campus community and general public. In recent years, we have offered one Cosmic Concert series in the fall (Halloween themed) and another in the spring (typically rock-and-roll or other popular music genre). Check our current show schedule for details.