Science of the Zodiac


Aries. Virgo. Aquarius.

The 12 constellations of the zodiac hold a special place in our popular culture, but what makes these patterns different than any of the others found among the stars?

Explore how to observe these constellations and how they have shaped humanity’s scientific understanding of the sky in Science of the Zodiac!

Average Show Length: 45 minutes

This live show includes:

  • How to identify the 12 zodiacal constellations
  • Cultural interpretations and lore of the zodiac
  • Scientific discoveries made with the zodiac including:
    • Visible planets of the solar system
    • Plane of the ecliptic – path of the Sun
    • Zodiacal light
    • Modern deep space discoveries

Show Overview:

While famous today thanks to horoscopes and astrology, the zodiac constellations have played a pivotal role in the progress of science and astronomy.

This live Star Show will take audience members on a tour of the 12 zodiacal constellations, highlighting their origins and the scientific discoveries that can be made through their observation.

Travel back in time to explore how ancient cultures used these patterns to unlock the earliest secrets of the night sky. Then, return to the present day to experience where you can see the constellations of the zodiac in the St. Louis sky tonight!

Image credit: NASA/Bill Dunford

The Zodiacal Light

Look up to the night sky just before dawn or after dusk and you might see a faint column of light extending up from the horizon. That luminous glow is the zodiacal light, or sunlight reflected toward Earth by a cloud of tiny dust particles orbiting the Sun.

The “false dawn” has long puzzled astronomers, but findings from NASA’s Juno space probe released in March 2021 suggest that dust from our neighboring planet, Mars, may be to blame. Learn more about this new discovery in Science of the Zodiac.


Star Show Pricing

This is a paid experience.

Members FREE*
Adults (ages 13-59) $6
Children (ages 2-12) $5
Seniors (ages 60+) $5
Military $4

Groups (10 or more): $5 for school groups, $5 for all other groups

Group Visit Information

Up to 8 Free tickets every day based on membership level
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The Planetarium Entrance in Forest Park is currently closed. Please park and enter at 5050 Oakland Avenue.

Star Shows take place in the Star Bay, the 2nd floor, of the Planetarium. Access is available through the stairs or elevator from the main Planetarium lobby.

Due to the dark nature of the planetarium, late admittance or reentry is not permitted. Please arrive on time for your Star Show.


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.

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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 speak with a Planetarium team member before your program begins.

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