Planetarium Visit & General Information
Planetarium seating is limited, so we recommend you purchase tickets in advance at the front desk, planetarium kiosk (15 minutes before the show starts), or through the museum's online calendar.
Planetarium tickets do not include museum admission, which must be purchased separately. Museum members, who enjoy free museum admission as a member benefit, must still purchase planetarium tickets. Planetarium tickets are included in special packages or group programs, such as Space Missions or privately booked planetarium experiences.
Planetarium doors open 15 minutes before the start of the show with no late admittance, so please arrive early.
The planetarium has 38 seats and is handicap accessible.
The planetarium is currently offering several virtual field trips for educators.
History of the Planetarium
The Thomas Planetarium was made possible through a generous contribution from Lowell and Tay Thomas.
Born in London in 1923, Lowell Thomas, Jr. was raised on a farm in New York. Like his world-famous father, he had a career as an author and film producer. An Air Force pilot during World War II, he graduated from Dartmouth College in 1948. He married Mary Taylor (Tay) Pryor, and they moved to Alaska in 1960 with their children, Anne and David.
Tay served two terms on the Anchorage School Board and was the author of An Angel on His Wing (1989), Only in Alaska (1969), and several other books. Lowell served eight years in the Alaska State Senate in the early 1970s, then as Lieutenant Governor from 1974 to 1978 with Governor Jay Hammond. He retired from a career as a mountain and glacier pilot and owner of Talkeetna Air Taxi in the mid-1990s, after flying mountain climbers and sightseers throughout the Alaska Range.
“Given recent space discoveries, it is now even more important for young people to have the chance to learn about astronomy and space.” Lowell Thomas, Jr.
The Thomas Planetarium features a state-of-the-art Digitarium Lambda Plus Fixed model digital planetarium system manufactured by Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. Our Digitarium system generates immersive images on the interior surface of a 180-degree dome that’s 24 feet in diameter.