The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, AK

2020 Shows and Events

Miss Leavitt's Stars Unlock the Universe

How far away are the stars?  In a time when women did the laborious and detailed tasks of analyzing the photographic images of stars, Henrietta Leavitt observed a pattern in the brightening and dimming of certain stars she analyzed.  What did she find?  The result was a powerful tool, now known as Leavitt's Law, which helps us answer this question. 

Presentation designed to enhance the experience of seeing play but may be enjoyed independently. 

Perserverance Theatre presented the play Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. From their website:

She changed the way we see the stars.
The year is 1900 and the world abounds with curiosity about what lies beyond the clouds.  When Henrietta is given the opportunity to work at the Harvard Observatory mapping the stars, she leaves home to follow her dreams of scientific exploration.  But when she arrives, she learns that she won’t even be allowed to touch Harvard’s telescope – the Great Refractor.  Henrietta, however, will not be dissuaded as she embarks on a journey of discovery that has a profound and lasting impact on the field of astronomy.  

Juneau's Night Sky

Often, night sky books are written for latitudes in the lower 48. What can you see here in Juneau with your naked eye? What more opens up with binoculars or telescopes? 

Join Rosemary Walling and David Henson to find out 

This is part of the Mendenhall Glacier's free Fireside Chat program.

Presentation will include astrophotography by Dave Hanson.

Night Sky of Juneau

First public show using new digital projector. Given at planetarium. It was a variation of above show at visitor's center.

Kid's Show - Big Dipper and Friends

Two shows by Rosemary and Dave.  

Photo by Michael Orelove of his garden

Astrophysics and Philosophy

Three great philosophical questions from the perspective of astrophysics.
Why is the Earth square? Is free will possible?
Can something be in two places at the same time?
A look at the more hidden laws of nature.

Presenter:   Marc Finklestein
Audience:  Adults but anyone may attend.

We will begin showing "What's Up" which is similar to the Stars Tonight we used to do on our old Spitz projector. This will cover current astronomical events you can experience in Juneau.
Marc is the Aerospace Education Officer, Civil Air patrol, SE Alaska Squadron. Before retirement, he was the president and founder  of FlightScience, LLC, an aerospace consulting company, for 17 years

No Planetarium Shows from mid-March, due to Covid-19

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

New YouTube Channel

Videos include:  

  • Space News
  • Cassini Christmas
  • Santa in Space
  • Aurora Time Lapse
  • Winter Solstice and Conjunction


Planetarium closed in mid March due to Covid-19. Cancelled shows included;

  • Where Are We? An Astronomical Presentation public show
  • Presentation for attendees of statewide youth court meeting
  • Group from Pelican
  • Jazz and Classics  - Music under the stars
  • Private Show for donor 
  • Open House for donors
  • Earth show in conjunction with Montessori Earth Day event in gym
  • Grand Opening