Run by volunteers the South Downs Planetarium is an educational charity that operates throughout the year, providing more than thirty presentations a month to schools and youth groups as well as to the general public.
To secure a Booking, see our 'Presentation Diary'.
Suitable for all from 6 years of age.
The real sky is not always available for viewing; the function of the planetarium is really twofold. It is an educational aid and is also very enjoyable.
Experience the magic of the night sky in comfort together with expert commentary by a professional astronomer.
Surrounded by the stars we show you the constellation figures and demonstrate how the stars and planets move. Our full dome shows feature stunning immersive video and breathtaking images.
An Applied Physicist by profession, Dr John Mason has been actively involved in astronomy and space science for almost 50 years. He is a past President of the British Astronomical Association, a full member of the International Astronomical Union and is currently Education Officer and Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester. He lectures extensively in the UK and overseas on a wide range of scientific topics with a reputation as a passionate communicator of science. He has led many expeditions overseas to observe the Northern Lights, total solar eclipses and meteor showers. He is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.
Graham has been involved in astronomy for the past 50 years and is currently a Trustee of the South Downs Planetarium.
Graham has been a supporter of the Planetarium for many years and has become more deeply involved since retiring from the Health Service in 2012.
He teaches the Astronomy for Beginner’s course at a nearby observatory of which he is also the Chairman.
Graham has for many years given talks to numerous outside organisations on astronomy and space flight. More recently, Graham has been an Aurora/Astronomy tour guide, leading a number of trips to Iceland and Norway.
Andrew has been interested in astronomy since his school days when he was an active member of the South Downs Astronomical Society, based in Chichester. For the past six years he has been the General Manager at the South Downs Planetarium carrying out the day-to-day running and administration of the facility. He recently completed a GCSE in Astronomy and has been heavily involved in the commissioning and operation of the Planetarium’s new full dome projection system. He regularly gives presentations for schools and youth groups and is a keen advocate of teaching science through the awe and wonder of astronomy and space exploration.
I have been to several shows, the latest being the Tim Peake Show, which showcased the planetarium's new full-dome projection.
All the shows are very well presented by Dr Mason who is a font of astronomical knowledge and makes it accessible, fun and interesting, to all ages.
The planetarium is well equipped with a wonderful star projector and video plus exhibits. Make a visit and relax in one of the comfy reclining seats and watch the heavens unfold above you!
Advance booking is recommended as shows do sell-out.
Visited December 2016
Went to the Tim Peake presentation on Monday night - absolutely stunning, superbly presented by Dr. John.
I hope that the presentation will be repeated in the New Year, I'm sure lots more people will want to see it when they hear about it.
It perfectly compliments the exciting new display on Tim Peake and the International Space Station at The Novium Museum which has just started and will greatly enhance the reputation of The Novium.
I have been here several times now for various shows over the years and I never stop telling my friends about it and how they must go even offering to book tickets for them to go and reminding them when their show date is due so they don't miss it.
It's an excellent venue, the building is great, loads of artefacts and masses to look at, the main Lecturer Dr John Mason is just amazing, so full of energy and life and passion and really knows what he's talking about and all from his head, no crib sheets or tape recorders.
I cannot say enough what a wonderful place this is to visit and I shall continue to spread the word
23 March 2017
Absolutely brilliant! Visited today with a group from school, all the children loved it! All the staff were great, very accommodating and understanding - wonderful
4 January 2017
All the presentations we have been to have been very interesting and the new Full Dome show is awesome. The presenter, Dr Mason, is very knowledgeable and his enthusiasm for Astronomy is inspiring.
30 August 2014
Brilliant have taken my year 7's here from The Regis School, May 2014. Brilliant kids loved it, really inspired them and they loved the topic of space from this visit. Thank you for a super time.