Paterson's Doorway to the Universe


To reserve the planetarium for a class or special event, click on this link to complete the reservation form

For more information on the programs below contact

Dr. Scala, Scheduling Coordinator


Since 2004, the Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) Planetarium has brought the universe to the Paterson community by educating and entertaining generations of school children and adults, inspiring imaginations and expanding horizons. Located in Paterson’s downtown business district and on a shared campus with Passaic County Community College, it is one of the best-equipped school planetariums in the United States. The planetarium resides at the heart of The Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER). The Paterson school district equipped the planetarium with an interactive computerized system that supports The Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) mathematics and science curriculum while providing district-wide weekly programs for elementary and secondary students. In addition to its value as an educational tool, the planetarium is also an important community resource, offering a variety of special presentations for public, college and community groups.

Mr. Swangin, Planetarium Director


The Planetarium is equipped with a state of the art Zeiss ZKP-3 projector capable of projecting 6,000 pin-points of lights resembling the stars, sun, moon and planets, transferring the 38-foot dome into a beautiful starry night sky. A Spitz automation system utilizing three computer systems controls the special effects projectors, video system, LED cove lighting and audio system.

Planetarium Programs


Survey of the Sky This program covers a tour of the night sky for the time of your visit. Students will learn to find objects in the current sky, and learn about the constellations, the sun, and the Earth’s rotation and revolution in space. The program is highly recommended for “first-time” visits to the planetarium.
Grades 3 – 7
Program Length: 55 minutes Live or Taped.


Empire of the Sun This program takes students on a unique tour of the Solar System, from the sun’s family of planets to comets, meteors and asteroids. The program features a history of the mythological gods and goddesses behind the names of some of the planets as well as what is known about each planet today from space probe missions. Empire of the Sun is a captivating sky program that enables students to explore the wonders of the Solar System.
Grades 4 – 7
Program Length: 55 minutes Live or Taped.


Man in the Moon An overview of the history, mythology, and scientific information of the moon, our nearest neighbor in space. Among the topics covered: The Apollo Space Program; What causes the phases of the moon?; Does the Moon rotate?; and What is a lunar eclipse?
Grades 3 – 7
Program Length: 55 minutes


StarBound This program traces the lives of stars from stellar birth to death. Students will learn about Red Giants and white dwarfs, neutron stars, mysterious black holes and supernovae.
Grades 4 – 7
Program Length: 45 minutes, live or taped.

DAY OF DARKNESS (New for 2017)

Day of Darkness For centuries solar solar eclipses has created fear, inspired curiosity, and have been associated with myths, legends, and superstitions. On August 23, 2017, the skies darkened from Oregon to South Carolina for the first “Great American Solar Eclipse” across the United States. This exciting new program covers the nature of eclipses and why they are rare celestial events. Among the topics covered: What can learn about the sun from solar eclipses?; What is a lunar eclipse?; and space weather.
Grades 4 – 12
Program Length: 45 minutes, live or taped.


Cosmic Yardsticks The program teaches students about the basic measurements used in astronomy: astronomical unit, light year, and parsec. Starting with measurements on Earth, the program explains how astronomers are able to determine the distances of celestial objects and measure the size of the universe.
Grades 9 – 12
Program length: 55 minutes


An Island Among Islands Many mysteries about our Milky Way Galaxy and its place in the universe still challenge astronomers. This program presents students with an insider’s view of Galaxy in which we live – the blended light of distant stars. The presentation explores the observational evidence for the Milky Way’s shape, size and structure, and why it is considered to be an island among countless other galaxies in the universe.
Grades 6 – 12 and college
Program length: 50 minutes taped

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone