More information about astronomy courses, minors or student research
Contact the Planetarium Director Carol Ivers, or book a school or group planetarium show, observing session, or workshop
Request a talk by Dr. Larsen or Dr. Piatek
Directions to the Planetarium and Observatory
Support our programs with a donation
Geological Sciences Department Blog
CCSUniverse Astronomy blog


Have an astronomy question?
Astronomy and The Hobbit
Create a Harry Potter Starfinder


We offer free public planetarium shows!  The most updated information can be found on our Twitter account (@CCSU_Astronomy), Facebook page (linked below), or our Blog,


Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.

If you prefer to donate with a specific purchase in mind as a way to improve your experience at the CCSU Planetarium and Observatory, here is a wish list of equipment we have in mind:

It’s easy! You can donate directly to the planetarium fund here: If you prefer, your donation can be mailed to: CCSU Foundation, Inc., PO Box 612, New Britain, CT  06050-0612. If you pay by check please comment in the note line that your donation is earmarked for the planetarium and observatory account rather than to the general university fund.

As always, we are grateful for your ongoing support.


Welcome to the home of Astronomy at CCSU, housed in the Geological Sciences Department.

We offer minors in Astronomy and Astrobiology, including a variety of astronomy courses at the introductory through advanced level. We also offer student research opportunities in planetary and lunar astronomy, variable stars, and astronomy education and outreach. Our facilities include the Copernican Planetarium, Copernican Observatory (with a 16-inch Cassegrain telescope), and a variety of portable telescopes, all of which are available for student use (after proper training).

Copernican Planetarium and Observatory

All of our programs are FREE and open to the public. For the most updated information on upcoming planetarium shows and observing sessions, like or follow our various social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, blog)  

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Looking to book a school or group show? Click here to email the Planetarium Director, Carol Ivers

All of our programming is free and open to the general public. We do have space for wheelchairs. The observing deck with portable telescopes is handicapped accessible but the observatory involves stairs. We offer free planetarium shows, observing sessions, and hands-on astronomy workshops to schools and community groups and civic organizations (such as scouts, PTOs, home schooling groups, libraries, assisted living centers, etc.). We apologize for the fact that we cannot schedule private shows or observing sessions for individuals or individual families (including birthday parties) and ask you to please respect this policy. To book a special group event, or to contact the Planetarium Director Carol Ivers use the mail link in the menu bar on the righthand side of this page. You can also leave a phone message at 860-832-2950. Because we offer special shows for groups, we respectfully ask that large groups not attend the public shows but instead book their own separate events. This will guarantee that your group gets its choice of show topics and helps us serve as many families as possible! If you have young children, age 5 or lower, we would be pleased to offer a special age-appropriate program for their school or day care.

Upcoming Free Planetarium Shows:

Meteors: Friday, August 2, 8-9 PM. Please note time

Shooting stars can be seen at all times of the year. One of the best meteor showers, the Perseids, will peak on August 12-13. Learn about those flashes of light in the sky at our next free public planetarium show.        

After the evening show, if skies are clear, join us in observing the real night sky through our telescopes.

Note: We are closed in July for staff vacations and work on the facilities.

Important notice: In the event of snow on a planetarium show night, please check the CCSU website ( if the University is closed, then the show is cancelled. Absolutely no food or drinks are allowed in the planetarium, including water, candy, or gum. Please help us maintain our new carpet and the rest of the facility. 


     Detailed directions and parking information are available here. Doors to the planetarium will open 30 minutes before the advertised show time. Plan on arriving at least 15 minutes before the show begins as the presentation starts promptly and there is no late admittance. This is a matter of safety, as the planetarium is much darker than a movie theater. In the event that all planetarium seats are filled, we will close the doors when full capacity is reached. We are sorry, but there is NO standing room option.

After all of our evening shows, if skies are clear, we invite you to join us for observing of the real night sky through our portable telescope.   

Our astronomy professors are also available to give talks at your facility (within 45 minutes driving distance to CCSU and as their schedule permits) on a variety of astronomical topics if you provide a way to show a PowerPoint presentation (i.e. a projector or compatible large wall monitor). Please use the links in the menu bar to contact Dr. Piatek and Dr. Larsen.

What's it like to experience a total solar eclipse? Listen to Dr. Larsen's enthusiastic comments in this video taken during the total solar eclipse in the Faroe Islands (her 4th total solar eclipse).