Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Chapel Hill

#6 of 31 in Things to do in Chapel Hill
Observatory · Museum
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and was the first and largest full dome planetarium in the south.

Ten years after opening, Morehead Planetarium was called to serve not only the people of North Carolina but also the nation’s burgeoning space program. Astronauts needed training in celestial navigation to ensure that they would be able to pilot their spacecraft if navigational systems failed.

Between 1959 and 1975, nearly every astronaut who participated in the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz programs trained at Morehead.

Now, Morehead's mission is to serve North Carolina and beyond by bringing together the unique resources of UNC to engage the public for an improved public understanding of science, technology and health.
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Morehead Planetarium and Science Center reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
173 reviews
  • It's so awesome having such an historic site on campus. Space exploration is so real visiting this place.  more »
  • Carolina Skies show is seriously MIND BLOWING! Okay, I'm not into constellations (I'm never going to remember all that after one go), but the final 15 minutes will knock off your socks. Why? Well, you'll travel through the universe and feel tinier than you've ever felt before. If you or someone with whom you plan to attend has difficulty standing for longer than 5-10minutes, then bring a support. You get in line and wait, wait, *the doors open* *people file out of the previous show*, wait, and then walk in. It's not bad, but for someone 90+, it was definitely excessive. Is that why they got 4/5 stars? No. The seats: they aren't cozy. At the beginning of the show, the announcer will talk about how long the planetarium has been around. Gotta be honest: obvi. The chairs haven't seen an upgrade in years. For as long as you're leaning back, it would be nice to have neck support, more of a recline, or some more cushioning. I'll tell you what, though, as soon as the last 15min hit, I forgot alll about the chair. The show is spectacular! If you need a sense of awe in your day and can't escape to the mountains, come visit the planetarium.
  • I love planetariums, and they do a good job here. The staff is always pleasant, and the building and room are clean. However, most all of the shows are for children, and some of us don't have children, or our children are grown. I really wish there was more intellectually stimulating shows instead of shows with cartoon coyotes that say stuff like, "space is really REALLY big and has more stars than cheerios that are in your cereal box." I was told that if we get 10 or more people, we could have a custom show. I worked hard on gathering people, and offered various dates and times. I got a response back that they would not deviate from their regular showing of children's shows on a Sunday. This was so disappointing. Again, not everyone who wants to enjoy the planetarium is a child.

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