Chemeketa Planetarium

Chemeketa's Planetarium hosts astronomy presentations during the fall, winter and spring terms, student presentations and the Salem Astronomy Club. The Planetarium is located at in Building 2, Room 171, at the Chemeketa Salem campus, 4000 Lancaster Drive NE.

The Chemeketa Community College Planetarium opened in the fall of 1977 and has offered astronomy presentations during the fall, winter, and spring academic terms ever since. Currently, public shows are scheduled most Friday evenings at 7:30 and last about an hour. The theater seats 60 people under a 35-foot dome. A special "star" projector is mounted in the center of the room which projects realistic images of the stars, planets, sun, and moon onto the ceiling for visitors to study and enjoy. During the academic year, 4-5 different shows are scheduled that address topics which cover the solar system, our galaxy of stars, and the universe of galaxies.

Current Show Information

'Tis The Season

Show dates: Dec. 4, 11 & 18

This Christmas star is an important topic during the holiday season. What the star was and how it was observed makes for a great story. As the year comes to an end, several events occur astronomically. The sun reaches its lowest noon position in the sky, resulting in long and cool winter nights that may be filled with bright stars and planets. In early January, the earth and sun are closest together for the year. Traditionally, many celebrations have occurred at this time of the year dating from Roman times. These pre-Christian events are briefly investigated.

As with other presentations, we will explore the night sky for prominent winter constellations.

Recorded information about our current show is available by calling the Planetarium at 503.399.5200.

Adults: $5
Children and Chemeketa students: $4


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Student Programs

The college planetarium offers a variety of student shows during the academic year. Call or contact us for more information.

Astronomy Club

The Salem astronomy club, known as Night Sky 45, meets the first Wednesday of every month (except December) in the Chemeketa Planetarium at 7 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public. Guest speakers are often scheduled to present various topics on amateur astronomy. During fair weather, monthly star parties are planned for locations just outside the Salem area. Club members can be contacted at: or by e-mail