Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway Road Closures and Construction update Winter 2013
Construction work on Rock Creek Parkway at Waterside Drive has resumed. Work will continue into Spring 2013. Delays are expected as lane closures occur to accomodate work. More »
Come see our NEW projector! Free tickets handed out 30 minutes prior to program. No admittance permitted after doors close.
"Young Planetarium": Wednesday 4:00PM
Located with the Rock Creek Nature Center, the planetarium serves as an astronomy laboratory, allowing visitors to study the sky under ideal conditions. The only planetarium in the national park system, it is meant to stimulate and foster an interest in the sky and stars. Although it is not the purpose of the planetarium's programs to present a great wealth of astronomical information, certain fundamental concepts are woven into the fabric of each program, concepts which are basic to a proper understanding of the sky.
With a dome-shaped ceiling designed to reflect light, the planetarium can duplicate the motion of the stars and planets as they might be observed from any point on Earth using a Spitz planetarium projector. The majority of Rock Creek's planetarium programs show the night sky as it appears in the Washington, D.C. area for the specific date and time of the program. The projector can also be accelerated to allow visitors to witness phenomena which take months, years, or even centuries to occur. Programs are usually 45-60 minutes in length.
Evening stargazing sessions (held at Military Field, off of Military Road), are run in conjunction with the National Capital Astronomers and are held monthly, April through November. Programs are cancelled due to rain and a completely cloudy sky.
The planetarium holds regular shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. for children five and older (5-7 year olds must be accompanied by an adult) and at 4 p.m. for children seven and older. The show for the younger children concentrates on the identification of major constellations and the movement of the heavenly bodies through the night sky. The later show, for older children, is divided into a study of the sky as it will appear that night and an in-depth astronomy presentation. Also, on Wednesday afternoons year-round there is an after- school show at 4:00 p.m.
Free tickets for the planetarium shows can be picked up at the information desk in the Nature Center.
Did You Know?
The Old Stone House in Georgetown is one of the oldest homes in Washington, DC. It was built in 1765.