All of these shows are available for field trips or private viewings. Inquire at sciencecenter@tjc.edu.

 

Pre-K - 2nd Grade

 

The Little Star That Could

Rating: PreK - 1st
Length: 35 minutes
Description: A story about a Little Star, an average yellow star in search for planets of his own to protect and warm. Along the way, he meets other stars, learns what makes each star special, and discovers that stars combine to form star clusters and galaxies. Eventually, Little Star finds his planets. Each planet is introduced to the audience along with basic information about our solar system.

 

One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure

Rating: PreK - 1st
Length: 20 minutes
Description: Big Bird, Elmo and their friend from China, Hu Hu Zhu, take viewers on a journey of discovery to learn about the Big Dipper, the North Star, the Sun, and the Moon. Audiences age 3-7.

 

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket

Grade: K - 3rd
Length: 30 minutes
Description: Take a trip with two adventurous kids, and a very talkative book from the library, as they explore the planets of our solar system in their very own cardboard rocket. Along the way they learn something special about each of the planets.

 

2nd Grade - 5th Grade

 

Earth, Moon and Sun

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: K - 5
Description: Coyote has a razor-sharp wit, but he's a little confused about what he sees in the sky. Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun fulldome show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles. Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun also examines how humans learn through space exploration. Audiences age 5-11.

 

Astronaut

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 2nd-5th
Description: The exploration of space is the greatest endeavor that humankind has ever undertaken. What does it take to be part of this incredible journey? What does it take to become an astronaut? Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of an astronaut. Explore the amazing worlds of inner and outer space, from floating around the International Space Station to maneuvering through microscopic regions of the human body.
Discover the perils that lurk in space as we subject ‘Chad’, our test astronaut, to everything that space has to throw at him. Narrated by Ewan McGregor.

 

From the Blue Planet to the Red Planet

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 2nd-5th
Description: Journey to the year 2132 as we follow Carina, a young woman stationed on Mars, as she communicates with her brother Aidan back on Earth. Experience living on a futuristic Mars colony, and ride a rover across the Martian surface. Children and adults alike will learn about the differences between Earth and Mars and what it might be like to live and work on another planet.

 

Extreme Planets

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: Just over a decade ago there were no known planets orbiting sunlike stars outside our own solar system. Since 1995, however, fast-paced developments in detection techniques have revealed hundreds of extrasolar planets--with the pace of discovery increasing all the time. Though it will be years before we have direct images of the surfaces of these worlds, this show gives us an idea of what they might look like - up close and personal! In this original production we'll explore the idea of what "Earth-like" even means, and take an immersive journey to several worlds that may stretch the imagination, but aren't science fiction anymore.

 

Cosmic Journey

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: Nestled deep within a huge spiral galaxy containing hundreds of billions of stars is an average yellow star. Yet there is something extraordinary about this star-it's ours! Travel the solar system faster than the speed of light, taking in all the wonders of its diverse planets and moons. Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above a barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400 years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air. In Cosmic Journey: A Solar System Adventure, you'll make your way to some of the most interesting and intriguing locations that circle our Sun. It will take you on a voyage to the outer reaches of our Solar System in search of worlds that might support life.

 

Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea

Length: 41 minutes
Rating: PreK-5th
Description: This show is a stop-motion 3D animated adventure explaining one of the greatest geological events in the history of the Earth: the separation of the super-continent Pangaea. When two children embark on a geology field trip back in time they are thrown into a fantastic voyage where they witness incredible geological wonders and learn the mysterious process that created our present-day continents and gave us volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis.  From racing across the landscape atop dinosaurs to plummeting to the center of the Earth, Dinosaurs Passage to Pangaea is the perfect educational glimpse at the tectonic forces that forged our world.

 

Tales of the Maya Skies

Length: 33 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: Immerse yourself in the beauty of the "seventh wonder of the modern world," Mexico's Chichén Itzá. Hear the story of the ancient Maya civilization. Experience Tales of the May Skies, a new digital full-dome planetarium show produced by Chabot Space & Science Center. Narrated by Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs, Tales of the Maya Skies transports us to the jungles of Mexico, presenting the rich history and culture of the ancient Maya. Using the latest three dimensional laser scanning and advanced graphic techniques, Tales of the Maya Skies weaves together the richness of Maya culture, stories, science and contributions to our way of life.

 

Two Small Pieces of Glass

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 3rd and up
Description: A full dome show about the history and science of telescopes. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was the first person to use the newly invented device to observe the sky. Through these observations the Italian philosopher-scientist concluded that the heavens were not perfect and immutable: he observed lunar mountains, phases of Venus, Jupiter's largest moons, and even sunspots. The two small pieces of glass revealed a Universe that was far more complex than previously assumed. Telescopes have advanced considerably since Galileo's time. Humanity now has large observatories and even a couple in outer space. "Two Small Pieces of Glass" shows how telescopes work; and how astronomers have used them to scrutinize the structures within our cosmos.

 

6th Grade - 12th Grade

 

Hidden Universe

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The full-dome documentary adventure Hidden Universe takes audiences on an extraordinary journey deep into space in the cinematic medium that transports audiences like no other. With the full power of the planetarium, the deepest reaches of our universe are brought to life with unprecedented clarity through real images captured by the world's most powerful telescopes.
Stunning, high-resolution images of space allow visitors to explore the earliest galaxies, watch stars being born in vivid clouds of gas and dust, tour the surface of Mars, and witness images of distant celestial structures including stunning views of the Sun. These dramatic new images offer fresh insight into the origins and evolution of the universe.

 

To Space & Back

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Space exploration, our greatest adventure, is having a big impact on our lives. It is helping us to discover a universe of unimaginable scale and beauty, and it is reaching down into our world and influencing the way we live. To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day. What is happening above is coming back down to Earth!

 

Earthquake

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Starting at Point Reyes in Northern California, the show flies south along the San Andreas Fault until it reaches San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge fades away as the clock rewinds to 1906. The audience experiences an all-digital recreation of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake, followed by a scientific dissection of the event-including views of the underground fault plane and the propagation of seismic energy waves based on supercomputer simulations. Guests then embark on a high-speed tour of the past 200 million years, witnessing the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, flying over the cradle of humanity in Africa's Great Rift Valley, and visiting sites of historic earthquakes in India, China, and Japan-including the 9.0-magnitude Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

 

Supervolcanoes

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The show takes us back 74,000 years ago, to the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger. 250 million years ago, an eruption in what's now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth's history. Supervolcanoes is an immersive planetarium show that looks back at rare classes of eruptions that have marshaled the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The program moves beyond Earth to explore the impact of giant volcanic eruptions around our solar system. Audiences will fly down to Neptune's frigid moon Triton, and onto the ultimate volcanic world: Jupiter's moon Io. On a visit to a legendary North American hot spot, Yellowstone National Park, the film asks: can a supervolcano erupt in our time?

 

Violent Universe

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The beauty of a starlit sky conceals the violent forces at work within our universe. From the upheaval of a giant star that explodes to release its material into space, to a future encounter between the Earth and a large asteroid that is too close for comfort, we will witness the forces that hold the universe together and occasionally try to rip it apart.

 

Back to the Moon

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface. The Google Lunar XPRIZE is introduced as the largest incentivized competition to date, designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.

 

Dynamic Earth

Length: 24 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Now in more than 70 planetariums worldwide, Dynamic Earth explores the inner workings of Earth’s great life support system: the global climate. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes.

 

Black Holes

Length: 37 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: A completely original Clark Planetarium production, "Black Holes" takes you on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe: a Black Hole. Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one on Earth's horizon? What are supermassive black holes? What is "spaghettification"? All these questions will be answered in Black Holes.

 

Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens

Length: 35 minutes
Rating: 5th and up
Description: Once a planet of great mystery, now we know more than ever before about its amazing system of rings, moons, and storms thanks to modern robotic space pioneers. While "Saturn" incorporates the best imagery from the Cassini-Huygens missions, it is not a slide show. For example, we've taken the photomaps of the moons and wrapped them onto 3-dimensional spheres complete with surface sculpting and height maps so the craters, canyons and mountains will show true surface relief! In this modern 35-minute production, audiences can experience an immersive exploration of one of the most amazing and dynamic planetary collections of our solar system.

 

General Public and All Ages

*Available for field trips as well*

 

Wild Ocean

Length: 45 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Wild Ocean is an action-packed, inspirational documentary exploring the interplay between man and our endangered ocean ecosystem. Featuring one of nature's greatest migration spectacles, Wild Ocean plunges viewers into an underwater feeding frenzy, an epic struggle for survival where whales, sharks, dolphins, seals, birds and billions of fish collide with the most voracious sea predator, mankind.

 

Humpback Whales

Length: 45 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: An extraordinary journey into the hidden world of nature's most awe-inspiring marine mammal, Humpback Whales takes you to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Kingdom of Tonga for a close-up look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play, and care for their young. Captured with IMAX® cameras, and found in every ocean on Earth, humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a steady recovery. Join a team of researchers as they unlock the secrets of the humpback and find out why humpbacks are the most acrobatic of all whales, why they sing their haunting songs, and why these intelligent 55-foot, 50-ton animals migrate up to 10,000 miles round-trip every year.

 

Ocean Wonderland

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Ocean Wonderland takes you on a stunning visual and sensorial diving adventure beneath the waves to the pulsating heart of the oceans: the coral reefs. Join your friendly host Aris the turtle and enter this magical and beautiful, yet endangered and fragile world, from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to the Bahamas. Discover the vast bio-diversity thriving there and the crucial role played by coral reefs within the marine ecosystem by providing a habitat and food for a wide variety of fish species, and maintaining the well-being of our planet. Hold your breath and plunge into this unique, larger-than-life diving experience.

 

National Parks Adventure

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: The power of America's national parks is undeniable. Millions have packed up the family to hike through the impossibly lush forests, to gaze upon towering cliffs and deep-plunging canyons, to witness the breathtaking arc of natural history, and, most of all, to share moments of wonder amid the protected treasures of this land. A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with Brand USA and narrated by Acedemy Award® winner Robert Redford, National Parks Adventure is acclaimed filmmaker Greg MacGillivray's most ambitious giant-screen film to date-a film that offers not only a sweeping overview of the national parks' history, but is equal parts adrenaline-pumping odyssey and soulful reflection on what the wilderness means to us all. Immersive cinematography takes viewers soaring over red rock canyons, up craggy mountain peaks and into other-worldly realms found within America's most legendary outdoor playgrounds. Join world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, adventure photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they hike, climb and explore their way across America's majestic parks - including Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Yosemite, and Arches - in an action-packed celebration that will inspire the adventurer in us all, and highlight how important it is that we protect these treasured landscapes. 

 

Live Sky Tonight

Length: 20-40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: A classic planetarium show, Live Sky Tonight is an interactive live sky show featuring many of the most popular and interesting objects visible in the nighttime sky. You will not only be able to pick out the Big Dipper or the Sword of Orion in the real night sky, but while in the dome you can travel light-years in seconds, fly to galaxies, and explore the edge of the observable universe.

 

From Earth to the Universe

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description:The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe. Audience members then our home out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out, beyond the Milky Way, to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us continue to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

 

A Starry Tale

Length: 25 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Constellations were created thousands years ago and they have been handed down generation after generation up to now. This show focuses on this great fact. In the show, you will see instruction on constellations and movement of the sun, moon and planets against constellations. An associated story from Greek myths is provided with beautiful CG including the tale of Astraea, the goddess of justice, who is closely related to the constellation Libra.

 

Wonders of the Universe

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Peer deep into space through the eyes of the Hubble Space Telescope. Travel back in time to witness the birth of the Universe. See the formation of galaxies, and explore beautiful nebulae. Visit neighboring planets in our Solar System before returning to Earth.

 

Space Park 360

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Space Park 360 is a 9-ride show that takes audiences on a wild immersive ride through the Solar System while recreating the experience of amusement park thrill rides—roller coasters, pendulums, inverters and more. From the top of Jupiter's clouds to the icy depth of Neptune’s moon Triton, each location serves to heighten the thrilling experience. Note: This is a musically based entertainment show with limited to no narration and very little educational value.

 

Rock on Demand

Length: 40 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: "Rock on Demand" fills the entire 40-foot domed theater with vibrant graphics, completely enveloping visitors in a 360-degree view while the 16,000 watt, digital surround sound system plays rock hits ranging from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to The Doors and Aerosmith.

 

Seasonal/Holiday Shows

 

Mystery of the Christmas Star

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: Mystery of the Christmas Star deals with one of the most beautiful and mysterious stories ever told - the journey of the Wise Men who visited Christ at his birth. The show takes a sincere and serious look at potential explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. You will be left with a new appreciation for the night sky and the beauty of the starry host above.

 

Season of Light

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: The show recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice — not only Christian and Jewish, but also Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, Mexican and Hopi. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe, to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, and the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles. St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus all drop by as well. Naturally, there is some astronomy in Season of Light. Audiences learn a selection of Northern hemisphere winter constellations, and find out why we even have seasons, as we demonstrate the Sun's path across the sky throughout the year, and the Earth's tilt and orbit around the Sun. And of course, the program explores the possible astronomical explanations for a "Star over Bethlehem" in the last quarter of the show: comets, meteors, novae and supernovae, and planetary conjunctions.

 

A Christmas Story

Length: 30 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: The planetarium brings the traditional Christmas story to life for your audiences. You accompany Mary and Joseph from the Annunciation by the angel Gabriel in Nazareth to the search for a room in overcrowded Bethlehem. Stand before King Herod in his great palace, alongside the three Wise Men from the East. Visit the shepherds and their flock in a field and travel to a stable to find the child in a manger.

 

Let it Snow: A Holiday Music Journey

Length: 32 minutes
Rating: Suitable for all audiences
Description: "Let it Snow" features a new variety of festive classics from Frank Sinatra and Chuck Berry to Burl Ives and Brenda Lee, and includes a stunning multi-media finale by Trans Siberian Orchestra. The soundtrack is visually enhanced with thematic animation, laser imagery, special effects, and all-dome scenery to create a fully immersive holiday experience.