Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill will begin operating under its extended summer hours starting Saturday.
Public planetarium shows will be offered Tuesday through Sunday. The full schedule is on the website, but shows start at 10:30 a.m. and continue every hour until the final show at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Shows run 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sundays.
The schedule runs through Aug. 27 and includes a new show, "Carolina Skies: Eclipse." For older audiences, best for kids 12 and older and their families, "Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter," is on the schedule. The show, narrated by Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, focuses on scientists around the world, who are collaborating to track down dark matter.
The schedule also includes long-time popular shows such as "Magic Tree House Space Mission," best for kids ages 5 to 12 and their families.
Morehead's Science Live! programs also are scheduled Tuesday through Sunday and include some great, free presentations on physics and matter, for instance. My kids have loved these! They run on the hour from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday.
Monthly skywatching sessions are scheduled for 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., June 17, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., July 15, and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Aug. 12. All three are at Jordan Lake. They are free.
And Star Families, designed for ages 7 to 12 and their adults, are 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., June 10, July 8 and Aug. 5.
The cost for planetarium shows and Star Families is $7.68 for adults and $6.51 for kids, students and senior citizens. Science Live! shows and skywatching sessions are free.
You'll likely run into construction at Morehead this summer, part of a major $5.2 million project to overhaul exhibit space and reshape the way visitors enter, exit and experience the Chapel Hill destination. Once the project is complete in late 2018 or early 2019, the public will have access to five times the amount of floor and exhibit space in the building on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill. The planetarium is expected to remain open through the project.