The Friends of the Planetarium organizes and hosts public programs for one weekend each month. We've chosen themes for each month, and all the activities or presentations for a given weekend will be related in some way to the chosen theme. The Friends of the Planetarium uses donations from the community to purchase digital full-dome programming to complement the library being developed by Arlington Public Schools. Here is our schedule for the current season.

The theme for November is A Tribute to Cosmos

Friday, November 21, 2014:
Cosmos Double Feature

Credit: Cosmos Studios.

Come see “how it ALL began” in the introductory episode of COSMOS by Dr. Carl Sagan, The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean. In the first of our free showings of the beloved TV series, we will revisit the wonders of the universe as explained by the great popularizer of science. As an homage to Carl, come wearing your best ’80s-style blazers and turtlenecks! During the intermission, conjure up your favorite Sagan lines and your fondest memories of the show that inspired millions! Look-alike contest prizes will be given to the people who best embody the essence of Dr. Sagan and his love of science… and humanity. Stay for the second episode of the evening, Journeys in Space & Time. Among the scientists who changed the world, perhaps Albert Einstein is the most recognizable…although most people don’t really know what his theories are! Watch this episode as Dr. Sagan explains the surprising nature of the Theory of Relativity including the bending of space and the possibility of time travel.

Target Audience: 10 through adult.

Running Time: 2.5 hours (all activities).

Doors Open: 6:00 p.m. Show Begins: 6:30 p.m.

Saturday November 22, 2014:
Cosmos Episode &
Astronomy Debate

Credit: Dean Howarth.

Screening of Cosmos episode Harmony of the Worlds followed by an evening debate between famed astronomers Tycho Brahe & Johannes Kepler

Our understanding of the cosmos rests on the “shoulders of giants”…the great astronomers of the past. See Carl Sagan’s history and evolution of modern astronomy from myths and horoscopes to the laws of astrophysics. You can also meet the “stars” of the film, the famous astronomers Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, as they describe their world and entertain your questions.

Target Audience: 10 through adult.

Running Time: 2 hours (all activities).

Doors Open: 6:00 p.m. Film Begins: 6:30 p.m. Debate Begins: 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 23, 2014:
Cosmos Episode & Free Apple Pie
Earth, Moon & Sun

1) Screening of Cosmos episode The Lives of the Stars followed by free apple pie outside the planetarium.

“To make an apple pie, you must first create a universe.” Join Carl Sagan as he explains how the cosmos extends from the realm of distant stars to the tiniest atoms. This afternoon’s classic Cosmos episode famously explains how we are all “star stuff” amidst the billions of galaxies in the universe. After the show, you can enjoy a slice of that universe, in the form of a piece of apple pie!

Target Audience: 10 through adult.

Running Time: 1.5 hours (all activities).

Doors Open: 1:00 p.m. Presentation Begins: 1:30 p.m.

2) Screening of the digital program Earth, Moon and Sun.

Credit: Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (

This planetarium show explores the relationship between the Earth, Moon and Sun with the help of Coyote, an amusing character adapted from Native American oral traditions who has many misconceptions about our home planet and its most familiar neighbors. His confusion about the universe makes viewers think about how the Earth, Moon and Sun work together as a system. Native American stories are used throughout the show to help distinguish between myths and science.

Target Audience: ages 7 to 13 and their families.

Running Time: 35 minutes.

Doors Open: 2:30 p.m. Show Begins: 3 p.m.

The David M. Brown Planetarium is located at 1426 N. Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22207.

Admission for Earth, Moon and Sun only is $3 for Children (up to age 12), $5 for Friends, Members, and Seniors (60+), and $7 for teens and adults.

Admission for all Cosmos and associated activities is free of charge (DONATIONS and new MEMBERSHIPS are welcome), but we recommend that you reserve your seat in advance if possible.

Seats can be reserved on this website right now. Just click on the event you would like to attend in the boxed schedules at the top or bottom of this page and use our online form to buy tickets and reserve your spot. Some of the seating will be held for walk-in visitors. Unclaimed reserved seats will be released when the show begins. Tickets purchased in advance are refundable for any reason until the show for which they were purchased begins. Online ticketing will end 30 minutes prior to each show, and any unreserved seats will be made available on a first come, first served basis.

To download a colorful 8x10 poster advertising this month's weekend, click here [3.6 MB jpg].

Click on a show to buy tickets