Gaze Into A Black Hole At These 5 SC Planetariums

Did you know that you can take a “virtual” walk on the moon, manipulate augmented reality tools on the International Space Station, and gaze into a black hole, all from the beautiful state of South Carolina? There are five SC planetariums offering exceptional programming in 2024, and we're highlighting some of their best features below. Planetariums in South Carolina are great date night ideas, rainy day activities, and things to do with friends and family in town, especially if you live near these five SC planetariums.

Dooley Planetarium

The Dooley Planetarium is one of the best SC planetariums on a college campus.

Dooley Planetarium at Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University, 200 Alumni Dr, Florence, SC 29506

If you're looking for a unique free date near Francis Marion, consider a SC planetarium show in Florence! The Dooley has been hosting planetarium programs since 1978. In 2015, the President of FMU initiated a renovation project, wherein the planetarium chairs, carpet, and paint were all updated. Visitors can expect much more comfortable seating compared to the historic setup.

What else is new at the Dooley Planetarium? The lighting system around the dome has been leveled up to LED, and the staff have added an additional amplifier and mixer to the sound system. Expect bigger, bolder, and clearer sound! Up to 64 people can be accommodated in the super comfortable reclining chairs underneath the dome. If you check the website for current SC planetarium shows, you'll find exciting topics like “Black Holes,” “The Evening Skies of Winter,” and “One World, One Sky.”

Clemson University Planetarium

Planetarium programming is extended for free to members of the public all year long.

Clemson University Planetarium: Enjoy Free Planetariums Shows All Year Long

Clemson University, Kinard Laboratory 112, Clemson, SC 29631

The Physics and Astronomy Department at Clemson is rocking a mind-blowing digital SC planetarium right at home in Kinard Laboratory 112, and the planetarium is the superstar of its  outreach program. Picture a state-of-the-art, full-dome digital theater system called Digistar 7, making its grand entrance in 2022! This bad boy has seriously redefined the game with its advanced user interface, real-time rendering wizardry, and jaw-dropping 4K full-dome video playback. It's like science fiction coming to life!

The cosmic database contains nearly a million astronomical objects, and staff can take visitors on a virtual journey anywhere – from Earth to the moon, Mars, and beyond! It's like having a front-row seat to the greatest cosmic show in the galaxy. With high resolution terrain maps and features, you'll walk away from the experience stunned and inspired to learn more about astronomy!

Hooper Planetarium at the Roper Mountain Science Center

A visit to the Roper Mountain Science Center is a must-do in Greenville any type of the year.

One Of The Best SC Planetariums: Hooper Planetarium

402 Roper Mountain Rd, Greenville, SC 29615

As if we needed another reason to visit Greenville SC — the Hooper Planetarium has seriously leveled up its lighting and sound in the past few years. It's now home to a Laser Fantasy planetarium projector that incorporates popular music to laser sequences. Friday Starry Nights programming is free to the public every Friday, and one of the most frequently attended shows is the “Roller Coaster on Mars” experience.

What else is there to do at the Roper Mountain Science Center? Public programming varies by season. This winter 2024, the afternoon explorations program has expanded to include day-long workshops in topics like “spooky science,” “fall on the farm,” “for the love of STEM” and “living history farms.” The Roper Mountain Science Center is a great place to take kids who simply love learning.

DuPont Planetarium

Rounding out our top four SC planetariums is an experience at the DuPont Planetarium!

DuPont Planetarium: A Hidden Gem At USC Aiken

471 University Pkwy, Aiken, SC 29801

Behold the wonder that is the DuPont Planetarium, a celestial haven nestled in the heart of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center at the University of South Carolina Aiken. Its mission? To ignite the spark of curiosity and inspire exploration of the boundless heavens above!

Every Saturday, starting from the wee age of 4, guests are invited to join DuPont SC Planetarium for spectacular public shows that promise to whisk them away on a cosmic adventure. To ensure you snag a front-row seat to the celestial extravaganza, we strongly encourage making advance reservations. Remember, the cosmic curtain rises promptly, so aim to arrive at least 20 minutes before the show begins. Pro tip: unclaimed reservations will be set free into the cosmos 10 minutes before showtime.

One of the best SC planetarium shows takes participants on an interactive journey as they engineer the International Space Station (ISS). Rap, animations, and mind-bending science await as we unravel the mysteries of weight, mass, gravity, and speed, all while exploring the awe-inspiring collaboration of 15 nations that birthed the ISS. Discover why astronauts float weightlessly, even with gravity in the mix, and uncover the incredible benefits the ISS brings to humanity.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium hosts some of the best SC planetarium programming.

Members of this audience are viewing images taken from the James Webb Telescope at NASA — some of the most high-resolution images of other galaxies to date!

The BlueCross BlueShield Of South Carolina Planetarium

South Carolina State Museum, 301 Gervais St, Columbia, SC 29201

In the capital city of South Carolina, you'll find one of the state's best planetariums. The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Planetarium is a 55-foot digital dome transporting visitors on an adventure to the deepest regions of space. Experience the authenticity of 4K visuals and a digital sky system enabling exciting learning connections among astronomy, physics, earth science, and art.

This SC planetarium seats up to 145 people and you won't find the titles of these SC planetarium shows anywhere else. In “Áróra” visitors will experience the majesty of the auroraborealis (Northern lights) set to music. A separate 42-minute live show highlights the science behind the mission to create the images captured from the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA.

Looking for more planetarium content? Peruse NC Planetariums here!

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