Paterson's Doorway to the Universe


To reserve the Planetarium for Class or a Special Event – fill out the following 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.



Survey of the Sky is 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 Earth’s rotation and revolution in space. The program is highly recommended for “first-time” visits to the planetarium.
Grades 4 – 7
Program Length: 55 minutes Live or Taped.


Empire of the Sun is a program that 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 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 is 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 Live or Taped


Biography of a Star is a program that 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 7 – 12
Program Length: 45 minutes, taped.


Cosmic Yardsticks is a program that 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 6 – 8
Program length: 55 minutes


An Island Among Islands discusses the many mysteries about our Milky Way Galaxy and its place in the universe and how those mysteries 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


Are We Alone in the Universe?
This program is based on an award-winning documentary on the search for life in the universe. It is highly recommended for science classes and special groups.
Grades 9 – 12, College Groups, and the Public
Program length: 45 minutes taped.


Imperio del Sol is the Spanish version of Empire of the Sun, funded by the Paterson Education Fund, is a special program that takes students and adults on a tour of the Solar System starting from ancient Inca and Mayan astronomy.
Grades 4 – 8

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