New shows launch at the Chaffee Planetarium

The Grand Rapids Public Museum. (Supplied)

By Kate Moore

Grand Rapids Public Museum


The Grand Rapids Public Museum has announced a brand new line-up of shows that will premiere at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium this spring. Beginning March 19, the Chaffee Planetarium will be showing Eclipses and Phases of the Moonand Escher’s Universe to audiences.


This year, 2017, marks a special year for solar experiences in the United States. On Monday, Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will take place across the continental U.S. from Washington to South Carolina. Leading up to this special event, the GRPM will be showing Eclipses and Phases of the Moon, highlighting how and why solar and lunar eclipses happen. Visitors will learn about the mythology surrounding eclipses, as well as everything they must to know to safely see the astronomical event. Eclipses and Phases of the Moon is produced by Physics Foundry.


The GRPM will be hosting an Eclipse Day Party on August 21 with special activities relating to the solar eclipse here in Michigan and the solar system, along with planetarium shows and more.


Is being shown in preparation for the Aug. 21 eclipse.

A second new show for the spring line-up features the mathematically inspired graphic arts of M.C. Escher through an art documentary created specifically for planetariums called Escher’s Universe. Visitors can expect to learn about Escher’s life as a unique mix of artist, astronomer, mathematician and traveler. This documentary will take viewers to the Escher’s studio where his most iconic works are displayed, revealing his unique ability to join science with art. The show will continue to explore how Escher’s travels impacted his work and marvel at shapes, three-dimensional reconstructions, dual worlds and unreal buildings revealing Escher’s continuous search for knowledge.


Planetarium tickets are $4 each with purchased general admission to the Museum, $5 each for planetarium-only tickets and free to Museum members. It is located in the Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St. NW. For more planetarium show times and to purchase tickets, visit


These new planetarium shows are brought to the Museum by the citizens of Kent County and the voter approved 2016 millage.