Entrance to the Planetarium


The Barton Planetarium received a full “re-boot” in April of 2014. The centerpiece of the renovation efforts is a new high-definition digital projection system for the 360-degree dome.

The upgrade allows the 60-seat facility to be used for educational videos, interactive learning games and much more, in addition to the traditional projection and animations of the night sky.

Most recently, the Barton Planetarium launched a series of semi-weekly free shows on Monday nights. Want to attend? Check out the list of dates and times.

The planetarium can also be reserved for private use.

Check out shows available through the Barton Planetarium! 

Fall Schedule

Please check back soon for a Fall schedule.

Show Descriptions

See a listing of shows below available to watch when you rent the Barton Planetarium.

Back To The Moon For Good

Back to the Moon for GoodImmerse yourself in a race to the Moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings.

Learn about the history of lunar exploration, and the Moon’s resources. Discover what humanity’s future on the Moon might hold. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration.

Narrated by Tim Allen, Back To The Moon For Good presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.

Time: 25 Minutes

Target Audience: 10 – Adult

DARK: The Movie

Dark: The MovieDARK is a full-dome movie that explains and explores the nature of dark matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe.

The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years – the unimaginable depths of deep time, of which a human life is but a flickering instant. But in that instant, we can grasp its immensity and, through science, we can attempt to understand it.

Time: 20 Min

Target Audience: 14 – Adult

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar SystemJoin scientists who are investigating the boundary between our Solar System and the rest of our galaxy in IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System.

Designed for visitors with an appreciation for the challenges of space science and a desire to learn more about science research, the show follows the creation of NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Audiences will get an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our Solar System’s boundary.

Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, audiences will hear from the scientists and engineers that developed the IBEX mission and created the spacecraft, and get the latest updates on the mission’s discoveries.

Time: 27 Minutes

Target Audience: 10 – Adult

Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing Telescope

Two Small Pieces of Glass: The Amazing TelescopeWhile attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a local astronomer enlightens them on the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. The students see how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe.

While looking through the astronomer's telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and spiral structure of galaxies.

Time: 25 Minutes

Target Audience: 10 – Adult

Wilbear’s Adventure

Wilbear's AdventureWilbear is a young teddy bear who has always been fascinated by flight.  When his Grandpa comes to visit, Wilbear learns about the history of flight – especially his hero Wilbur Wright.  Along the way, Wilbear learns about mythology and sees a few winged constellations.  Finally, Wilbear visits an airport and gets to see all the different airplanes.

Time: 22 minutes

Target Audience: 3–8


Losing the Dark

Losing the DarkStarry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns — seen so clearly from space — are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

Losing the Dark is a “public service announcement” planetarium show. It introduces and illustrates some of the issues regarding light pollution, and suggests three simple actions people can take to help mitigate it.

Time:  7 minutes

Target Audience: 10 – Adult

Live Shows

Tonight’s Skies - Learn about the stars, constellations, and planets visible in the night sky. Our digital projection system lets us explore in whole new ways, viewing the skies from any place and any time. This interactive show changes depending on the season and any current special celestial events.  

Time:  Variable from 20–60 minutes.

Up, Up, And Away - Take a journey as we leave Barton Community College and fly ever higher, learning about the scales of the universe. We will leave the familiar landscapes of Kansas, fly away from earth, beyond the solar system, through the Milky Way and onward to distant galaxies.

Time:  Variable from 15–45 minutes.