McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center
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Black Holes

Planetarium Shows

Visit our calendar for a public show schedule.
Planetarium shows run approximately 40-45 minutes. The theater is "looped" with a magnetic loop system that enables individuals with Telecoil-equipped hearing aids to fully enjoy planetarium shows, thanks to the New Hampshire Academy of Audiology and Oticon. Tickets to planetarium shows will be sold until approximately 10 minutes before scheduled show time. Please plan accordingly.

Educators looking for traveling planetarium shows, please visit the outreach page.


Extreme Planets

For centuries, humanity has wondered whether we are alone in the universe. The 1995 discovery of the first planet orbiting another star, since followed by the discovery of hundreds of extra solar planets, brings us closer to knowing the answer. Extreme Planets looks at what makes a planet “Earth-like”, and explores distant worlds that might fit the conditions we seek. From water worlds to molten landscapes, inhabitable moons to planets with multiple suns, these exotic worlds aren’t just science fiction anymore!

Recommended for ages 12 and up
School visits: grades 6-12

From Earth to the Universe

Take a journey through the solar system and the universe beyond. Learn how telescopes and space probes have changed our understanding of planets, moons and other celestial objects.

Recommended for ages 6 and up
School visits: grades 1-12

Little Star poster

The Little Star That Could

The Little Star That Could The Little Star That Could is a story about Little Star, an average yellow star in search for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Eventually, Little Star finds his planets. Each planet is introduced to audiences with basic information about our Solar System.

Recommended for ages 4 to 10.
School visits: Grades Pre/K-5


From a habitat hidden deep underwater in Florida, to the world's most amazing swimming pool, dive into the underwater world of outer space! SPACE SCHOOL is the incredible story of how astronauts train underwater to live and work in space. From microgravity simulation at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab, to living under the sea at Aquarius Reef Base, astronauts spend a lot of time training underwater. SPACE SCHOOL is a fascinating and beautifully filmed live-action fulldome film.

Recommended for ages 5 and up
School visits: Grades 3-12

Interested in extending your field trip experience? Check out the educator resources provided by producers!

Tonight's Sky planetarium show

Tonight's Sky

Since this show tells you all about the current night sky plus the latest exciting information about space, it's NEVER the same show twice! Is that a star or a planet? What is Orion hunting? What is a gibbous moon? What does the Milky Way look like? Hold on to your seat as you become part of the spectacular current night sky. This Planetarium program helps you get started observing the wonders of the sky from your own backyard. Our Digital Sky® projection system allows us to travel thousands of light years from Earth.

Recommended for ages 6 and up
School visits: Grades PreK-12
Available in our traveling planetarium


Attack of the Space Pirates (limited showing, call for details)

Hidden somewhere in the vast reaches of space is an alien technology so powerful that it threatens the very galaxy itself. A gang of rogue pirates will stop at nothing to find that technology and unleash its awesome power against the rest of the universe. Now, only one valiant ship stands between the pirates and their total domination of space. It’s a race against time for the Starship Intrepid as it seeks to find the alien technology first while defending itself against the attack of the space pirates!

Recommended for ages 8 and up
School visits: grades 3-12

Back to the Moon For Good (school shows and private events only)

Immerse yourself in a race to return to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the Moon's resources and discover what humanity's future on the Moon might hold. Narrated by Tim Allen, Back To The Moon For Good presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.

Recommended for ages 6 and up

Black Holes (school shows and private events only)

Black Holes takes you on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe. What is a black hole? Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one in Earth's neighborhood? Explore the latest scientific knowledge on black holes in a show that is visually immersive.

Recommended for ages 12 and up
School visits: Grades 7-12

Cosmic Origins (school shows and private events only)

Since its launch in 1990, unique tools aboard the Hubble Space Telescope have resulted in amazing deep-space images and discoveries. Learn how astronomers are using the Cosmic Origin Spectrograph (added to Hubble in 2009) to answer questions like: How do stars and galaxies form? How were the elements created in stars and supernovae?

Recommended for ages 12 and up.
School visits: Grades 7-12

Dawn of the Space Age (school shows and private events only)

Re-live the excitement and drama of the early days of space exploration, from the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Meet some of the men and women who risked their lives; witness their drive, their passion, and their perseverance to explore.

Recommended for ages 8 and up
School visits: grades 3-12

Family of the Sun (school shows only)

Experience the solar system as you never have before, from the Sun to the distant edge of the Oort cloud. Travel to planets, moons, comets and transneptunian objects. Enjoy an aurora on Saturn, see the relative positions of planets in their orbits around our star, understand eclipses and more in the engaging live presentation.

Recommended for ages 6 and up.
School visits: Grades 1-4

Ice Worlds (school shows and private events only)

Explore the critical relationship between ice and life - a tale of friend and foe, enabling, challenging, supporting and adapting - that has developed over millions of years. Will other ice worlds of our solar system have life? Can they help us understand Earth's changing polar habitats? For answers, Ice Worlds explores the two poles of Earth and the other ice worlds nearby.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.
School visits: Grades 5-8
Available in our traveling planetarium: Recommended for grades 5-8

Infinity Express (traveling planetarium and private events only)

The universe is slowly offering up its secrets as shown in this remarkable blend of science, art and entertainment. Powerfully narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne of "The Matrix" fame, Infinity Express will take you on an exciting journey of discovery. From the exploration of our solar system to the mapping of the universe, Infinity Express will funnel you towards humanity's mission to explore what lies beyond Planet Earth.

Recommended for ages 8 and up
Available in our traveling planetarium: Recommended for grades 4-12

Interstellar Boundary Explorer (school shows, traveling planetarium, and private events only)

Discover how scientists and engineers are using cutting-edge technology to explore the boundary between our solar system and the rest of our galaxy. Learn how the IBEX mission was developed, how the spacecraft was created, and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our solar system's boundary, in this engaging planetarium show narrated by two inquisitive teenagers and the IBEX scientists and engineers themselves.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.
School visits/traveling planetarium: Grades 7-12

Reach for the Stars (private events only)

The story of Christa McAuliffe, a courageous woman and passionate teacher and her lifelong commitment to education. Christa was, and remains, one of NASA's most visible and beloved space pioneers. This award-winning documentary film chronicles her life and vision.

75 minutes.

SUNSTRUCK (school shows and private events only)

This exciting show on solar science, created by the Michigan Science Center in collaboration with NASA and narrated by noted science fiction author Mike Shepherd, shares the wonders of our own personal star, the Sun.  The Sun's incredible energy has supported life on Earth for millennia, but it also poses threats to the way of life our 21st century technology has enabled. In Sunstruck, you will travel to the distant future to discover the Sun’s connection to our universe’s cosmic cycle of life and death.

Recommended for ages 8 and up
School visits: Grades 5-12

The Amazing Telescope (school shows, traveling planetarium and private events only)

Take a voyage through time and space and discover how a simple adjustment to a child's spy glass revealed an infinite and perplexing universe never before imagined. This amazing journey features two students who encounter an astronomer at a local star party and discover not only how telescopes work, but how they have enabled us to make some of the most incredible cosmic discoveries of the past few centuries. Then - learn where you can find some fascinating objects with a small telescope or binoculars in the current night sky with a Discovery Center educator as your guide.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.
School visits: Grades 7-12
Available in our traveling planetarium: Recommended for grades 5-12

To Space and Back (school shows and private events only)

Space exploration, humanity's greatest adventure, is helping us discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, while reaching down into our home world and influencing the way we live. This international award-winning show will take us to the far reaches of the known universe and bring us home forever changed.

Recommended for ages 8 and up.
School visits: Grades 5 to 12

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Contact Us

2 Institute Drive
Concord, NH 03301
603.271.7832 (fax)

Public Hours:

Fri, Sat, Sun:
10:30 AM - 4 PM

1st Friday of the month: 6:30 - 9 PM

Open Columbus Day and Veteran's Day

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