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Planetariums in New Jersey

Dreyfuss Planetarium

Newark Museum, 49 Washington St., Newark, 973-596-6529 for schedules. Press 2 for weekly update on the night sky, sunrise, sunset and moon phase information. 24-hr. Sky Report: 973-596-6611. For the latest dates to see the space station and other satellites, visit Heavens Above website or link to it from the Newark Museum website. Wed.-Fri. shows at 2pm, Sat. & Sun. shows on the hour from 1-4pm. Adults $5, children under 12/srs./college students $3, not recommended for children under 4. Tickets available at the Information Desk when the museum opens on a first come, first served basis. Strollers are not permitted and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Planetarium shows are followed by a tour of the constellations and information on how to view the planets. Sphæra portable planetarium outreach program, 973-596-6690.
Thru Jan 4
          Firefall, ages 10+. Wed.-Fri. 2pm, Sat. & Sun. 2 & 4pm.
          Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda, ages 5-9. Sat. & Sun. 1pm.
          Season of Light, adults & ages 6+. 3pm.
Dec 26-28, Dec 31
          Legends of the Night Sky, 1pm.
          Firefall, 2 & 4pm.
          Season of Light, 3pm.

Longo Planetarium
County College of Morris, Cohen Hall, B building, 214 Center Grove Rd., Randolph, 973-328-5076. Planetarium programs are presented to school groups during the week and to the public on select weekends.

William D. McDowell Observatory
Meadowlands Environment Center, Two Dekorte Park Plaza, Lyndhurst, 201-460-8300. Open for telescope viewing nights and special events.
          Public Viewing Nights, for all ages, weather permitting. Free, limited space, first come, first served. Visit website link for schedule.

Morris Museum Astronomical Society
973-631-0178. Meets eight times a year on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30pm at the Morris Museum. Membership is open to ages 14 and older; families welcome.

New Jersey State Museum Planetarium
205 West State St., Trenton, 609-292-6464. Weekend public shows 1, 2, 3 & 4pm during the school year; weekday shows are added during school vacations. Adults $7, 12 and under $5, available on first-come, first-served basis. Printable coupon online for $1 off. 150-seat planetarium with high definition and Full Dome Video technology is open for public programs, school programs, scouting astronomy programs and birthday parties. The planetarium lobby includes interactive exhibits with the latest astronomical information.

North Jersey Astronomical Group
Free telescope nights Thurs. 8-9pm in front of Richardson Hall at Montclair State University, Montclair during the school year and skywatches for special events, weather permitting. Monthly kids' telescope nights begin at 7:30pm.

Robert J. Novins Planetarium
Ocean County College, College Dr. (parking lot 2), Toms River, 732-255-0343, 732-255-0400 ext. 2111. Recorded show information: 732-255-0342. Public shows are presented Fri.-Sat.; additional weekdays during summer. Adults $10, srs. $8, children 12 & under $7, family pack (2 adults, 3 children) $35. School programs; portable planetarium; birthday parties; space store. The Astronomical Society of the Toms River Area (ASTRA) meets 7pm on the second Friday of the month and is open to interested people of all ages.
        Wonders of the Seasonal Sky, tour of the current season's night sky; children's shows; laser shows. Visit website for schedule and to purchase tickets.
        Pajama Night, family-friendly show for all ages. 5:30 & 7pm.

Raritan Valley Community College Planetarium
Rt. 28 & Lamington Rd. (Rt. 78 exit 26 or Rt, 22W), North Branch, 908-231-8805. Park in lot #1, 6 or 7. Admission $7 two shows on the same day $13, not recommended for children under 5. Evening laser shows are recomended for ages 12 and older. Reservations recommended. Group rates; school group shows; Starlab portable planetarium for rent to educators who have attended summer workshop. Also offers Project ASTRO, a program that matches teachers in grades 2-9 with a volunteer astronomer; Family ASTRO, a one-day training program open to anyone with an interest in astronomy; and astronomy workshops for teachers of grades 2-12.
        The Sky Above, Sensory-Friendly Show, one-hour show adapted for families with children on the autism spectrum or with developmental disabilities. All ages. 4:30-5:30. $5, advance reservations.
                  Jan 11, Feb 8, Mar 15, Apr 19, May 17
        Meditation Under the Stars, 60-min. guided meditation while watching the stars. Bring a sweater or blanket and yoga mat if you'd like to lay on the floor. 1:15pm. $7.
                   Dec 15, Jan 12, 30
Special Events
Feb 14
         Romancing the Stars, ages 18 and older. 5:15 & 9:15pm. $15 per couple.
Astronomy Shows
Jan 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
         Magic Tree House: Space Mission, ages 5+. 3pm.
         Laser Magic, ages 6-adult. 4pm.
         Winter Skies, 7pm.
         Laser Beatles, 8pm Jan. 3, 17, 31.
         Laser Led Zeppelin, 8pm Jan. 10 & 24.
Jan 11
         Magic Tree House: Space Mission, ages 5+. 2pm.
         Laser Pop Rock, 3pm.
         The Sky Above, 4:30pm.
Jan 30
          Night of Lasers. Laser Queen, 7pm.
          Laser Modern Rock, 8:15pm.
          Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, 9:30pm.
          Pink Floyd's The Wall, 10:45pm.
Feb 7, 14, 21, 28
          The Little Star That Could, ages 6-12. 3pm.
          Laser Light Waves, ages 6+. 4pm.
          Winter Skies, 7pm. Observatory open after the show, weather permitting.
Feb 7, 21
           Laser ELO, 8pm.
Feb 8
          Follow the Drinking Gourd, ages 6+. 2pm.
          Laser Magic, ages 6-12. 3pm.
Feb 14, 28
          Laser Queen, 8pm.
Feb 16
          Perfect Little Planet, ages 6-12. 2pm.
          Laser Kids, ages 6+. 3pm.
Mar 7, 14, 21, 28
          Earth, Moon, Sun & Coyote, ages 6-12. 3pm.
          Laser Pop Rock, 4pm.
          Winter & Spring Skies, 7pm. Observatory will be open after the show, weather permitting.
Mar 7, 21
           Best of Pink Floyd, 8pm.
Mar 14, 28
          Laser U2, 8pm.
Mar 15
          Rockin' Rocket Ride, ages 3-8. 2pm.
          SkyLights, ages 3-8. 3pm.
Mar 31
          Magic Tree House: Space Mission, ages 5+. 2pm.
          Perfect Little Planet, ages 6-12. 3pm.
Apr 1
The Little Star That Could, ages 6-12. 2pm.
          Laser Kids, ages 6+. 3pm.
Apr 10, 11, 18, 25
          Native American Skies, ages 6-adult. 3 & 7pm. April 10 at 7pm.
Apr 11
          Laser Magic, ages 6-12. 4pm.
          Laser Classic Rock, 8pm.
Apr 18, 25
          Perfect Little Planet, ages 6-12. 3pm.
          Spring Skies, 7pm. Observatory open after the show, weather permitting.
          NJ Rocks, laser show. 8pm.
Apr 19
          Space Shapes & Tycho to the Moon, ages 5-10. 2pm.
          Storybooks in Space, ages 4-8. 3pm.
May 2, 9, 16
          Magic Tree House: Space Mission, ages 5+. 3pm.
          Laser Kids 2, 4pm.
          Spring Skies, 7pm.
May 2, 16
          Laser 80's Concert, 8pm.
May 9
           Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, 8pm.
May 17
          Rockin' Rocket Ride, ages 3-8. 2pm.
          SkyLights, ages 3-8. 3pm.    

Paul H. Robinson Observatory
Voorhees State Park, 251 County Rd. Route 513 (rt. 78 to Rt. 31N), Glen Gardner, 908-638-8500. March & April: open 4th Sat. 8:30-10:30pm. Memorial Day-Oct. 31: open Sat. 8:30-10:30pm and Sun. 2-5pm. Sponsored by the New Jersey Astronomical Association, evening sessions include night sky observing and daytime sessions include solar viewing, weather permitting. On the 4th Sat. from March through Oct., a guest speaker presentation begins at 8:30pm followed by Q&A and tours of the facility. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more.
2nd Sat
        Young Astronomer's Programs, hands-on activities for ages 7-13 the second Sat. of May through Oct. 6:30-8pm. Advance reservations recommended, space is limited.

Robert A. Schommer Observatory
On the roof of the Serin Physics Laboratories, 136 Frelinghuysen & Allison Rds. (park in lot 53 or 53A), Busch Campus of Rutgers, Piscataway, 848-445-8973 or 848-445-8785. Open to the public for two hours on the second and fourth Thurs., weather permitting, starting at 8:30pm Oct.-March and one hour after sunset April-Sept.
          Jan 8, 22, Feb 12, 26, Mar 12, 26, Apr 9, 23

John W. H. Simpson Observatory
Washington Crossing State Park (enter off of Bear Tavern Rd.), Titusville, 609-737-2575. The Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton opens its observatory to the public every Friday April-Oct. from twilight to 11pm, if weather is clear.
Apr 3
           2015 Season begins.

Sperry Observatory
Union County College, 1033 Springfield Ave., Cranford, 908-276-STAR. Monthly meetings of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. are held on third Fri. of the month from Sept.-May. Informal presentations are held on most other Fri. and observatory is open 7:30-10:30pm, weather permitting. Presentations for youth groups can be arranged in advance. All meetings are free and open to the public. Membership is open to anyone 12 years or older.
1st Fri
            What's Up: A Down to Earth Sky Guide, celestial happenings for the month are normally presented at the first Fri. meeting. 8:30pm.
            Public Star Parties, observation sessions when lunar glare is minimal.

Astronomy news, photos and videos compiled from space agencies, science journals and university research groups.