Buhl Planetarium Shows
Fly to the Moon, soar to Saturn, gaze at the stars, and traverse distant galaxies without leaving Pittsburgh! Buhl Planetarium offers a variety of planetarium shows designed to delight, educate, and inspire visitors of all ages! Check our calendar for show times.
For your safety, seating capacity is limited in the BodyStage, Works Theater, and Buhl Planetarium. Seats and armrests are sanitized between each show. As you plan your visit to the Science Center, please review the Reopening Plan and Guidelines and FAQ pages for information about timed ticketing, safety guidelines, and cleaning procedures.
Planetarium shows (except laser shows) are free to members and are included in general admission.
For group bookings, add a planetarium show to your package for just $2 per person! Shows can be booked for visits Monday through Friday. Call 412.237.3400 for more information.
A new canvas for the cosmos, now revealed in breathtaking True8K projection.
See the rings of Saturn and Martian canyons like never before – it’s an all new planetarium experience.
One giant leap from 4K to 8K resolution – A brand new Sony projection system will utilize 10 projectors to create a seamless, synchronized True8K high-resolution image— at least 8,000 pixels across every full 180-degree arc on the dome. Crisp, bright stars will now pop against a rich, dark sky.
A brand-new canvas – Every single panel on Buhl Planetarium’s 50-foot-wide dome was removed and replaced with brand new Spitz NanoSeam panels, manufactured in Pennsylvania. This new Peirce Family Dome at Buhl Planetarium will provide a new canvas for the cosmos, now revealed in breathtaking True8K projection.
More options, more adventures – The Evans & Sutherland Digistar 7 Software features an extensive library of planetary models, real-time 3D computer graphics, and a catalog that incorporates data from dozens of organizations all over the world to generate the most complete and accurate 3D atlas of the universe. Buhl Planetarium visitors will be able to travel to other stars and even exoplanets and fly through 3D digital nebulae based on volumetric data.
Accessibility for people with hearing and visual impairments – The project will also improve its accessibility through a $32,000 grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD). Buhl Planetarium will now provide assistive listening devices, as well as live-time closed captioning glasses that convert speech to scrolling text. Handheld star globes will provide tactile representations of the night sky, featuring stars and constellations in raised relief.
These new tools usher in a new era of planetarium shows and in-show options, including:
Free flight – In select shows, audiences will fly over Martian canyons or through Saturn’s rings, piloted by a Buhl Planetarium educator with an Xbox controller. Visitors will soar from orbit into strikingly realistic planetary surfaces during live presentations and fly into valleys or through mountain ranges on the Earth, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, or any planet or moon in the Solar System, taking colorful geological journeys based on real data.
Interactive voting system – Visitors can choose their own adventure through space or test their knowledge of space trivia with a new wireless, handheld, interactive voting system.
Space news – Hungry for the latest space news? Data feeds from a host of astronomical observatories on Earth and in space will stream into the planetarium every day for instant dome display, incorporated into the planetarium’s daily shows.
Movies! – New full-dome movies available through the Evans & Sutherland Digistar library offer another fun-filled option for learning about space.
Buhl equipment and dome upgrade, as well as an additional operational endowment, were made possible by a $1 million gift from The Buhl Foundation, $1 million from Bob and Joan Peirce, and additional donors in the Pittsburgh community. Fundraising for Phase Two of the project, which includes new seats and carpeting, will begin soon.