Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau, Alaska

Frequently Asked Questions

Location
The planetarium is in the Marie Drake Building (between Harborview and a playing field). You will see the Planetarium logo on a sign above the double doors. If you are at the stop light at 10th Avenue and Egan Drive, coming into downtown Juneau, take a left at the light and go two blocks to Glacier Avenue. Take a left. Go two blocks to the 4 way stop sign at 12th and Glacier. Continue on Glacier Avenue. You will see the schools on the left side of the streets starting Harborview. Next to it is the Marie Drake Building. If you see the swimming pool or the high school you have gone too far.
Hours
  • We do not have regularly scheduled hours.
  • The planetarium is only open for events and presentation
  • The planetarium will be closed from May 28th to mid August for building repairs. We will have shows and events in other locations.
 

The planetarium is a non profit with a five member board to directors. Click below to learn more.

What is the purpose of the planetarium?

To provide astronomy education in Juneau to people of all ages and levels of astronomy educations

How to contact us.

The best way is to contact us via email. Please leave phone number.

mariedrakeplanetarium@gmail.com                    If you need to talk with someone, call Steve at (907) 500-2941.


Do you charge for planetarium shows and events?

  • Our programs are free. We occasionally charge e.g. if we have a fundraising event or have a program that involves paying a stipend to an out of town speaker.
  • There is a donation jar at each event and we appreciate your support.
  • We usually have a few free items at shows and a few inexpensive items for sale.

How do I find out about upcoming 
The best way it to join our email list or like us on We do not share your email address and you may unsubscribe at any We also list our events in: the Juneau Empire KTOO and JAHC events calendar and Facebook groups such as Juneau Events and Juneau Billboard Events.We appreciate this free publicity.

Are you a non-profit?
Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) and have a five member board. Donations are tax-deductible.
Click here to learn more about our board.

Who owns the planetarium
The Juneau School District. It is located in the Marie Drake Building which also houses other schools and offices.

Who runs the planetarium?
  • The planetarium has been run since by volunteers since 1990. Volunteers who give presentation choose topics based on their knowledge and interests. We welcome new presenters and volunteers.
  • Since 2011, we have been a non profit with a board of directors. The board makes decisions about policies and programming. 
  • Your ideas for the planetarium and programming. We also appreciate feedback and constructive suggestions on how we can better provide astronomy education.

Purpose of Planetarium
To provide engaging and informative astronomy education for people of all ages and levels astronomy knowledge in Juneau.
We provide free astronomy education to the public, school classes and community groups.

What is the relationship between the planetarium and the Juneau School District
  • JSD maintains the planetarium space paying for utilities, cleaning etc.
  • The school district also uses the space for school activities such as RALLY and sometimes rents out the space.
  • The school district does not provide funding for staffing or programming at the planetarium. In the past, JSD has provided a some funding for equipment.
  • Planetarium volunteers train teachers who wish to use the planetarium system for their classes. 
  • The new planetarium system we are fundraising for will be a great tool for Juneau teachers.

What type of shows do you do?
  • We generally show use our analog starball (planetarium system) and have a presentation.
  • The starball shows "The Sky Tonight' which is Juneau's night sky and we discuss upcoming local astronomical events.
  • Presentations are usually a PowerPoint type presentation, but may also include a hands on activity.
  • The new digital planetarium system we are fundraising for, will greatly improve the versatility and variety of our programming. It will be an exciting tool for visual astronomy education in Juneau. We anticipate that it will increase our attendance and number of volunteers.
  • Our shows are generally one hour and are generally held on Tuesday evenings or Sunday afternoons. 
  • These days and times are flexible, so join our email list of like us on Facebook to keep up with upcoming events.

Can I rent the planetarium?
The space may be rented via Community Schools for a small fee; however the planetarium system cannot be used. If you want the starball system for your event, you need a planetarium volunteer to run it. If you are a school or non profit, there is no charge. 

How do I arrange a planetarium show for my classroom or a non-profit?
Contact us to discuss what you are looking for. We will try to find a time that works for you and someone to present for your group. However, since we are run by volunteers, we cannot accommodate every request. 
We need to know:  topic, grade or age of attendees, number of attendees. Adults must accompany children.

 What organizations does the planetarium partner with?
Here is a partial list:

Juneau School District
UAS
Jazz and Classics
Boy and Girls Scouts
ORCA
Musuem of Flight in Seattle
 
 

Juneau Public Library

Alaska State Museum

Home school parents

Private schools

Day care centers