• Planetarium Stars of Summer
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SPC > Academics > STEM > Science > Planetarium and Observatory
  • Planetarium

Planetarium and Observatory

  • Have a club, school group or other community organization that wants to reserve the planetarium? These groups can reserve the planetarium for free special programs on dates and times they choose other than Friday evenings.

    For group reservations:

  • Explore the universe

    The St. Petersburg College Planetarium and Observatory are great places for all ages to explore the universe. The planetarium is a “star theater” with a 24-foot domed ceiling that can accurately simulate the night sky at any time or location on Earth using a GOTO GE-6. Free shows are held every Friday night at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. when the college is in session. The planetarium is also available free of charge to clubs, school groups and other community organizations by special request.

    The St. Petersburg/Gibbs campus is also home to a rooftop observatory, featuring a 20-inch reflecting telescope that is open to students and the public after planetarium shows. On this third-floor observation deck, you will find numerous portable high-powered telescopes. Special telescopes equipped with solar filters allow daytime visitors to safely view sunspots, prominences and other solar activity.

    Both the planetarium and observation deck are wheelchair-accessible.

    The Planetarium will be closed on Nov. 28 for Thanksgiving.

  • Free Friday shows

    Explore the stars without trekking far from home, for a price that's out of this world: Free. The planetarium offers two free public shows on Friday nights at 7 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. when the college is in session. Shows are hosted by resident astronomer Dr. Craig Joseph and feature live narration with images displayed by computer-controlled projectors.

    The planetarium seats 46 and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are not required for the Friday shows. Shows last approximately 45 minutes. Feel free to bring children as long as they are 5 or older. The observatory and portable telescopes are available to the public after planetarium shows, weather permitting.

    Upcoming shows

    The Stars of Summer
    August 22 and 29; September 5, 12, 19 and 25

    See some of the celestial attractions that adorn the evening skies above Tampa Bay during the late summer months. Stop by and view the rings of Saturn with our rooftop telescopes! 

    Legends of the Fall
    October 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31; November 7 and 14

    The autumn skies are filled with constellations intertwined in Greek myth and lore. Learn some of the stories playing out in the evening sky this fall.

    If you are in the Halloween spirit, come visit our Haunted Planetarium! During the month of October, our planetarium will be haunted by ghosts, ghouls, zombies and other creatures of the night. Not recommended for very small children (suggested minimum age is 8).

    Yuletide Skies
    November 21; December 5 and 12

    Be sure to visit our Yuletide planetarium decorated for the holiday season! Go back in time 2000 years to see astronomical events that may have inspired the Biblical account of the “Christmas Star”.

  • The Planetarium is located on the second floor of the Natural Science Building (SC 205) on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus located at on 69th Street North at 5th Avenue. Free parking is available for the celestial shows.
  • For questions about the planetarium, contact Craig Joseph:

    Call 727-341-4320 or
    Email joseph.craig@spcollege.edu 

  • Photo Gallery

  • Planetarium and Observatory at St. Pete/Gibbs CampusVenus and Jupiter are visible outside the observatoryStudents get a better look at Jupiter and VenusA recent school group visit to the Planetarium and ObservatoryThe 20-inch reflecting telescope at the SPC ObservatoryHoning in on Jupiter and VenusVenus and Jupiter are visible outside the observatoryAn example of what can be seen in the PlanetariumHalloween at PlanetariumHalloween at the PlanetariumChristmas at PlanetariumChristmas at the Planetarium