McDonnell Planetarium


See the night sky in an entirely new way.

Our famous James S. McDonnell Planetarium is your gateway to the stars. Marvel as the world’s most realistic star projector, the ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM Mark IX, creates the largest artificial sky in the Western Hemisphere under our 80-foot dome. Relax, discover and explore with one of our Planetarium Educators during our interactive star shows. It’s a stellar experience you won’t soon forget.



Boeing Space Station and Orthwein Starbay

The Boeing Space Station features two levels of exhibits that illustrate the future of space travel, and the Orthwein StarBay’s SBC Learning Center gives you a glimpse of what it’s like to live and work on the International Space Station. In the Crew Quarters, you’ll see how dwellers eat, exercise, sleep and dress in space, as well as how the crew meets medical needs and maintains the station’s internal and external environments.

Please note: All Boeing Space Station exhibit areas are closed during Planetarium Shows. Guests will be asked to gather in the Orthwein StarBay during this time.

Star Bay

Hubble 30th Anniversary Image

On April 24, 2020, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope celebrated the 30th anniversary of its launch aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. The Saint Louis Science Center was selected as one of a limited number of locations across the nation to unveil the Hubble 30th anniversary photo to the public and is the only location in the state of Missouri.

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Star Projector

One of only three in the United States, our ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM Mark IX is the world’s most realistic star projector. The Mark IX projects more than 9,000 stars and deep sky objects onto our 80-foot dome, creating a brilliant star field and the largest artificial sky in the Western Hemisphere.

Visitors can look up and see what the night sky would look like without the interference of weather, pollution or city lights.

Special features allow Planetarium staff to demonstrate eclipses, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena. The immensity and clarity of the view creates a sense of wonder that stimulates the imagination.



The StarBridge, located on the Planetarium’s highest level, focuses on the navigation and operations essential for life in space. Exhibits demonstrate the roles that communication, astronomical research, power and exploration play in maintaining a space station. Note that StarBridge is only accessible to visitors who have purchased star show tickets, and is closed during star shows.

Illumination Requests

The exterior of the McDonnell Planetarium is illuminated nightly for all to enjoy. This illumination has helped raise awareness for charities and causes through special illumination requests.

Make a Request


Members stargaze for free.

Love the Planetarium? Become a Science Center member and watch star shows for free with every visit, as well as get a full year of additional members-only benefits.

Plus, members help support the Science Center and our mission to make science learning open to everyone.

Become a Member


Elevators and ramps serve all public areas of the McDonnell Planetarium.

We also offer hearing assist devices for Planetarium star shows. When ordering tickets, please let your reservationist know you’re interested in a hearing assist device, or see a Planetarium team member before your program begins.

The Liftoff gallery offers tactile models of the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, as well as models of the Planetarium’s StarBay and building exterior. The models of the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft and StarBay feature large print and braille materials for visitors thanks to a generous grant from Lighthouse for the Blind Saint Louis.

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