Armagh Planetarium: It’s out of this world this summer!

This summer experience our world and beyond as you sit back and relax in the Planetarium’s 360-degree dome theatre. With six different shows running Monday-Saturday throughout July and August there is so much to choose from, including a brand new film. “Solar Superstorms”, narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, will take viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the Sun’s rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes, and the largest eruptions in the Solar System: Coronal Mass Ejections. The film links to research carried out by the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium on the Sun. Best suited for adults and children over the age of six, “Solar Superstorms” launches at 2pm on Monday 2 July. Check out our website for show information and times. This summer you can also book your tickets online!

A Coronal Mass Ejection in the making: magnetic loops pushing up from solar sunspots.
Credit: CME simulation by Yuhong Fan; solar surface simulation by Matthias Rempel, both from National Center for Atmospheric Research. Visualization by Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, U. of Illinois.

Solar Superstorms describes rare but extremely powerful eruptions from our Sun that appear to occur about every 100 years.  It discusses the last such event to affect the Earth, the Carrington Event of 1859.  Amazingly, the auroral storms that were seen over much of our planet during this event are recorded in the Armagh Observatory weather record. (look at the entries for September 2, 3 & 4, 1859 in the entry in the log book below).  If such a Solar Superstorm were to strike the Earth today it would likely lead to wide scale break downs in the electrical power grid and global communications.

The Carrington Solar Storm, recorded in Armagh’s daily weather record. Look at the entries for September 2-4, 1859 for the sighting of a bright aurora (click image to see at full size).


A turbulent pulse of solar plasma interacts with Earth’s magnetic field.
Credit: Simulation by Homa Karimabadi, University of California, San Diego. Visualization by Advanced Visualization Lab, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, U. of Illinois.

Our amazing water rocket workshop (weather permitting) will run throughout the summer and we have a fantastic event programme planned. If you think you have “The Force” then join us on Saturday 7 July and Saturday 18 August when the Emerald Garrison will be training future Jedi Knights. Don’t miss this film-inspired StarWars treat for all young Padawans. Young visitors will have the opportunity to don the famous brown robe, pick up a lightsabre, and learn a few Force skills from an Emerald Garrison Jedi Master!

Launching Rockets from the Planetarium towards the weather station by the Observatory.


To celebrate our 50th Anniversary of opening this year, we have a special “50 Years of Sci-Fi” event on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July. This stunning family event is one not to be missed. Meet and have your picture taken with some iconic costumed characters and see the amazing fan built sets and props from some of the biggest movies and television series.

To end the Summer fun we have our popular Minecraft workshop returning on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 August. In conjunction with STEM Aware, children taking part in this workshop will have the chance to explore the International Space Station and beyond using the platform of Minecraft. Each child will have their own laptop gaming station and will be set team challenges in these workshops.

Remember that on those sunny summer days we also have a lovely outside trip through the Universe. Our Astropark is a scale model of the Cosmos where visitors can walk through the Solar System, into the Milky Way and beyond. The landscaped grounds are dotted with stainless steel scale models of the planets demonstrating how small our planet Earth is compared with some of its neighbouring worlds. At the top stand in our stone circle and admire the view across the city of Armagh and the surrounding countryside.

Now taking online bookings!  See for details.

Telephone: 028 3752 3689


Sinead Mackle (Planetarium Manager) and Michael Burton (Director)


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