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Glorious sound and imagery await you!  In 2020, we updated to a brand-new 5.1 surround-sound system and an amazing Digitarium Lambda Plus laser projection system!

 

The planetarium is open each day the Calusa Nature Center is open and we typically have educational/fun public shows at 12:15 pm and 2:15 pm daily; seating starts 15-20 min before the shows. We also offer private planetarium shows for prearranged Field Trips, typically before noon on weekdays (and an extra Science Sunday show on Sunday afternoons), and at other times for rentals/special events. If your visit's timing/content is crucial, please check with the front desk to be sure of the schedule for a given day, as we do have occasional rentals, refurbishing times, late field trips, and special events: 239-275-3435.

Admission to planetarium shows is included in the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium ticket price and all public daytime planetarium shows are free to members. Our planetarium shows rotate monthly and an up-to-date schedule can be found here.

The Calusa Nature Center Planetarium is the only planetarium in our area of Southwest Florida, with no other planetarium open to the public along the western half of Florida south of Bradenton. We take our educational mission seriously and love bringing the wonders of the Universe to our Southwest Florida community and visitors!

What's Up in SWFL Skies

SWFL Skies

Planetarium Premieres

Planetarium Premieres

Join us for the premiere showing of some of our possible future planetarium shows. These premieres might become daily shows in the following months, and are usually accompanied by a live guide to the night sky and a general orientation to the premiere itself. Come get an early viewing of what might be to come -- and your audience feedback may shape our future show lineup! For full descriptions, check our Calendar.

Non-members: $15                                     Members: $5

Premiere: Starlight
Premiere: Starlight
Membership Offer
Jul 17, 2024, 7:00 PM
Fort Myers

Sensory Sundays
(Showing the first Sunday of each month)

Our sensory-friendly planetarium shows are for guests with Autism spectrum disorder, sensory sensitivities/PTSD, or young children. Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t have special sensory considerations, but the conditions will not be the same as our 12:15 and 2:15  planetarium shows.

Shows are limited to a maximum of 50 audience members. These shows will run with the lights on but dimmed, the sound down, and the theater doors open so people can move about as needed. Guests are welcome to “chill out” in our lobby. All shows include a live star talk about what is up in the sky that night. We will include a short break between the main show and star talk to allow each group to attend or not as they feel is best for their needs. Sensory-friendly toys are available on request and don't worry, parents: these are disinfected thoroughly after each use :-)

Click button at bottom to reserve your seats! Download Your Calusa Nature Center Planetarium Sensory Sunday Children's Guide HERE to help prepare your child for their Planetarium visit.

Sensory Sundays
Sensory Sunday: Dinosaur Prophecy
Sensory Sunday: Dinosaur Prophecy
When
Jul 07, 2024, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM
Where
Fort Myers,
3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33905, USA

Planetarium Special Events

Planetarium Special Events
Our amazing skies put on special performances for us. When this happens, we jump into action to put together special events for your enjoyment! You can find information about special celestial occurrences and other unique planetarium events here!

Planetarium History

Planetarium History

Ground was broken for the Calusa Nature Center Planetarium in May 1984, and construction was completed in December 1986. The planetarium dome is 44 feet in diameter. The planetarium has permanent seats for 86 people and 4 wheelchair spaces.

 

For big screen/flatscreen projection, a high-brightness LCD video system projects brightly from the rear of the planetarium, allowing us to show anything from a laptop, DVD player, or Blu-Ray player.  With a 44′ light path, the images are large as well as bright, making this venue suitable for everything from 80-person meetings to special corporate or social events to marriage proposals!

How We've Changed: In 2010, the original Spitz 512 planetarium projector (which projected only a star field) was replaced by a Konica Minolta Mediaglobe II digital projector, which allowed us to begin showing full-dome "movie" style planetarium shows. In 2020, that was replaced by the Digitarium Lambda-Plus laser-phosphor system: brighter and higher-defiition for a real sense of "zooming through space" when that's what's needed!

A 40-foot by 11-foot stage was added to the front of the planetarium theater in 2011, making it more versatile for speakers, plays, small concerts, and other special events (for example, we’ve hosted chamber music, private parties, weddings, memorial services, and fashion shows, and in Spring, 2024 a live stage play).

In 2020, during a covid-crisis shutdown, the new Digitalis Education Digitarium Lambda Plus projection system replaced the Mediaglobe II digital projector, but that was only the beginning! The Digitarium Lambda Plus is a laser-phosphor high-brightness, high-contrast, high-resolution planetarium system from Digitalis Education Solutions. In August 2021, Ash Enterprises installed a brand-new 5.1 surround-sound system (and we have more needed-upgrade items on our list, for which we are fundraising). We are all excited about the Lambda Plus and the surround-sound system, and so very pleased to bring our visitors the next step in full-dome total immersion!

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As the only planetarium between Miami and Bradenton, we need community investment to complete the renewal of our inner space. We have some large donor support and a foundation grant that has launched the planetarium to begin our renovation process. With your generous donation, we can make the experience of nature and our planet's place in the universe even more awesome. Join our Planetarium Donors today, and help us to set your name among the stars.

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