The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, AK

2017 Shows and Events

Public Shows

Old drawing

Art of the Aurora
Art representing and inspired by the Northern Lights.
Presentation by Cristina Della Rosa

Great American Solar Eclipse

If your bucket list includes a total solar eclipse…well, get ready. Our next is only months away, when the moon's shadow will sweep across the continental USA for the first time n nearly four decades.  Learn the fine details of the eclipse, the best places to experience it and why you must absolutely not miss this once in a lifetime celestial event.

Presentation by visiting astronomer Dennnis Mammana. $5.

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Photo by Dennis Mammana

Night Sky Photography Workshop

All day fee class by visiting astronomre Dennis Mammana

Learn the secrets of capturing stunning portraits of the glorious Alaskan night sky—the moon, stars, meteors... and yes, even the magical aurora borealis itself—with only a camera and tripod. Seating is limited, and the Early Booking 

Exoplanets - Finding Another Earth

Are we there yet?

Have you seen headlines like "NASA discovers Earth-like planet around nearby star"?  Or perhaps you've heard of the newly discovered TRAPPIST-1 system with three of it seven planets within the star's habitable zone?  What makes an exoplanet Earth-like?  Liquid water?  Atmosphere?  Aurora?  Not too hot?  Not too cold?  Come find out what we know and how we know .
Presenter Rosemary Walling

Exoplanets Poster

Cristina's photo of t-shirt 

Solar Eclipse Humor
Presentation by Cristina Della Rosa
Date TBA
Astronaut Humor
Learn the qualities needed to be an astronaut in this family show. Presenter Cristina Della Rosa.

Alien Love

Total Solar Eclipse Time Series

Total Solar Eclipses

Learn about the upcoming August 21st total solar eclipse. This will be the first totality over mainland USA since 1979. The moon’s shadow will cover Oregon, then head east to South Carolina.

Eclipse chaser Steve Kocsis will cover the science and experience of witnessing this most awesome of celestial events. 

Steve has been to seven total solar eclipses and will be in Madras, Oregon for the event.

Cassini - The Best Spacecraft Yet

Presentation by Sean Strauss.  The Cassini mission to Saturn began over 20 years ago, and has undoubtedly been a historic space voyage.

We will illustrate the spacecraft's highlights, which include its complex journey to the planet Saturn; major discoveries of the planet, its rings, and its moons; and phenomenal photographs.

Image of Saturn 

Comparison of solar and lunar eclipses

Last Chance - Pre-Solar Eclipse
Last Chance to learn about the upcoming eclipse, occurring Monday morning, August 21, 2017. There will be demonstrations, and a Q & A session.  A limited number of free eclipse glasses will be given away Presentation by Sean Strauss. 


CBJ Day of Play

Fun With NASA @ My Library

Juneau Library image

2015: The Centennial of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity

100 Years of General Relativity

Steve Kocsis, who teaches astronomy at UAS, will present: '100 years of Einstein's General Theory'. The Big Bang, ultimate fate of the Universe, large scale structure of the Universe, expansion of space, red shift, Gravity, black holes, lensing, dark energy and dark matter all emerge from the Einstein Field equations published in 1915. The Universe is mathematical. The equations are abstract. However, Einstein based his work on visual ideas that give insight into 'The mind of God'.  

Black Hole Sun - Total Solar Eclipse Report

Join five planetarium volunteers who attended total solar eclipse and learn about their first hand experiences. 

The public also invited to share their experiences. Where were you? How did it feel? Are you now an eclipse chaser?


Cover of magazine

The Big Dipper:  A Celestial Icon
Presentation by visiting astronomer Dennis Mammana

If you think that the Big Dipper is just a simple star grouping, think again. In this fun presentation, you'll learn where the Dipper is and what it's made of, what lies deep within, how to use it to find your latitude, and more. After this program, the Big Dipper will never look the same again.

$5 for adults.
The Moon:  Facts and Follies

A fun all ages show learning about the moon.

Steve Kocsis will be "Dr" Steve and share facts such as moon phases and origin.

Cristina, creator of astronomy humor website will share follies such as animals on the moon.

Can you separate truth from fiction.

Free moon phase kits handed out at  show
Moon Phases
Christmas in Space
Learn how aliens and astronauts celebrate Christmas and how Christmas is celebrated on the moon. Enjoy Santa delivering presents in space and visiting the moon. 

Red Moon

While Blood Moon is not a scientific term, it is used colloquially to refer to a total lunar eclipse, because a fully eclipsed Moon often takes on a reddish color. So why does the Moon turn red?

A total lunar eclipse happens when the Moon travels through the Earth's umbra, the dark central portion of its shadow, and the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from falling onto the Moon's surface. However, the Moon does not turn completely dark during a total eclipse as part of the sunlight still reaches the lunar surface indirectly, via the Earth's atmosphere.

On January 18th, 2018 a total lunar eclipse will be visible in Juneau.

Community Group Presentations

  • Cub Scouts 
  • Juneau Marine Naturalist Symposioum - aurora 

School Group Presentations

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