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Planetarium projectorClarion University's Peirce Planetarium offers you a glimpse of the stars and planets of the night sky. It does so with its 40-foot dome, one of the largest in the state.

At the heart of the planetarium is a precision-engineered star ball that combines optical and electro-mechanical technology to provide an accurate view of the night sky and its apparent motion.

The planetarium is useful in providing education to faculty, students and the public as star gazers have an opportunity to see their favorite constellations at any hour of the day. The planetarium can be used to show the night sky as it would appear at any point in time, past or present, as it would appear from any point on Earth.


Season of Light

Clarion planetarium show traces origins of holiday customs

PennWest University Clarion will present Season of Light at 7 and 8 p.m. Dec. 9 in Peirce Planetarium, on the second floor of the Science and Technology Center, Clarion campus. The show is free and open to the public.

 This presentation traces the history and development of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, from sparkling Christmas tree lights to burning the Yule log, or even kissing under the mistletoe. The show also recounts some of the religious rituals practiced around the world during winter solstice. Guests will also learn some of the brighter winter constellations and find out why we have seasons.

The 40-minute show ends with possible astronomical explanations for a “Star over Bethlehem.” Season of Light is culturally inclusive, musically satisfying and soothing as a warm drink on a cold winter’s night.

The planetarium is handicapped-accessible. Parking is available in Lot 12, behind Marwick-Boyd, and Lot 11, across from Tippin Gymnasium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For information, call 814-393-2085.

 December Stars Over Clarion

In addition, we anticipate bringing back our laser shows later this fall. Stay tuned here or on our Instagram page for updates at: You may also call our planetarium hotline at 814 393 2085 for updates.

There are several shows that have become staples at the planetarium. They include:

  • "Constellations and Their Lore" – A look at constellations and the stories behind their names
  • "More Than Meets the Eye" – Compares the naked-eye views with observatory astrophotos and spacecraft images
  • "Season of Light" – A holiday show that explores the origin of winter traditions from different cultures
  • "Larry Cat in Space" – Larry entertains younger audiences as he travels to the moon and explores the Imbrium Village.
  • "Dawn of Astronomy" – Older students and adults trace the roots of modern astronomy in ancient Egypt and Britain.

The planetarium is named for Dr. Donald D. Peirce, teacher and chairman of the science department from 1932-68.

To schedule a show, please contact:

Anita Lahr
Department Assistant
814 393 2281

Dr. Sharon Montgomery

814 393 1899

Clarion University's Planetarium is handicapped-accessible and is located on Greenville Avenue in the Grunenwald Science & Technology Center. To reach the planetarium, which is located on the second floor, enter through the front doors facing Greenville Avenue and either take the stairs to the second floor or use the elevators located at the north (left) end of the building. The planetarium is at the top of the stairs to your right. Get ready to sit back and enjoy the night sky indoors!

Last Updated 11/28/22