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
Rings of Saturn
Show dates: Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30; Nov. 6, 13 & 20
Saturn is the true "Lord of the Rings". After a seven-year journey, the two-story Cassini spacecraft began orbiting Saturn in July 2004. This mission of exploration will end in 2017 following a successful close-up look of Saturn, its many rings and family of moons. See Saturn inside and out in this full-dome presentation.
All shows include a brief introduction that explores the night sky over Salem during this season of the year.
Recorded information about our current show is available by calling the Planetarium at 503.399.5200.
Children and Chemeketa students: $4
The college planetarium offers a variety of student shows during the academic year. Call or contact us for more information.
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: http://www.nightsky45.com or by e-mail