Saturday, February 5, 2022

Celebrate Black History Month and LOVE Month at the RVCC Planetarium!


February 2022





Welcome Back!


We are delighted to welcome visitors back to the Planetarium!

Please make note of our health and safety guidelines.


·  All persons ages two and older are required to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.

·  Hand sanitizer stations are located in the Planetarium's lobby, as are the restrooms with soap and water for washing hands.

·  The Planetarium's HVAC system uses MERV 13 filters and brings in fresh air to the room.

Information about RVCC's COVID response and protocols can be found here.


Public Shows on Saturdays


Follow the Drinking Gourd

Saturday, February 12, 3:00 pm

Learn to find the Big Dipper and other stars in our night sky. Then, we’ll go back in time to follow a family trying to escape oppression. The Big Dipper guides them through a frightful but rewarding voyage. Sing along with the slaves who used the song of the Drinking Gourd to travel north on foot from Alabama to Canada. Based on Jeanette Winters’ book by the same title, this show describes the astronomy behind the slave song “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” (Recommended for ages 6-12)

Black History Month at NASA

NASA has had a number of amazing employees, on the ground and in space. Learn about some of the folks currently working at NASA as engineers, climate scientists, public engagement specialists, and of course, astronauts.

African American Astronaut Puzzles

Astronaut Stephanie Wilson word puzzle

Astronaut Jeanette Epps word search

Astronaut Victor Glover emoji math puzzles

Astronaut Jessica Watkins maze


Make a Katherine Johnson paper doll


LOVE in the Sky


Our Lovely Skies 

Saturday, February 12, 7:00pm

Constellations memorialize love lost and love gained. Planets are named for Roman and Greek gods who have stories of their own. Beautiful stellar nebulas remind us of celestial flower bouquets. Discover these treasures and more in this light-hearted, family-friendly show about the love stories in the sky. (Recommended for ages 10-adult

Laser Love 

Saturday, February 12, Monday, February 14, 8:00pm

This laser concert celebrates LOVE! Songs include “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, and “Tale as Old as Time” from Beauty and the Beast. The Monday evening performance is for adult couples only, please. Saturday is open to everyone.


Date Night at the Planetarium


Limited Seating—Reservations Required


Romancing the Stars 

Monday, February 14, 7:00pm

For ages 16 & older (no children, please)

It’s date night at the Planetarium! Enjoy a light-hearted look at the Universe. Stars, constellations, and stories all celebrate love. This Valentine’s Day evening program is for adult couples only, please. A similar program on Saturdays is open to everyone

Laser Love 

Monday, February 14, 8:00pm

This laser concert celebrates LOVE! Songs include “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher, and “Tale as Old as Time” from Beauty and the Beast. The Monday evening performance is for adult couples only, please. Saturday is open to everyone.


Earth, Moon, Sun and Coyote

Saturday, February 19, 3:00pm

Coyote thinks he knows everything about the sky but is surprised by how many misconceptions he really has about eclipses, moon phases, and the motion of the day and night skies. (Recommended for ages 6-12)

To Worlds Beyond

Saturdays, February 19, 26, 7:00pm

Discover what stars are visible in tonight’s sky. Then take an amazing journey through our solar system, visiting each of the planets, plus the most famous dwarf planet, Pluto. Beautiful images taken from orbiting satellites blend with high-end animations and current information on our neighborhood of planets. Weather permitting, the 3M Observatory will be open after the show. (Recommended for ages 10-adult)


Shows for Our Youngest Visitors


Rockin’ Rocket Ride

Saturday, February 26, 3:00pm

Put on your space suit and blast-off into outer space to visit the Moon, Sun and planets. A lively experience for young people with selected music from "Journey into Space" by Jane Murphy. (Recommended for ages 3-8)


Saturday, February 26, 4:00pm

Our youngest audience members can sing along with songs by mr. RAY (Family Ride, Kalien the Alien) and Jane Murphy (Moon Rock Rock, The Planet Song). Some songs are illustrated with lasers and other songs feature video images. (Recommended for ages 3-8)


Saturday, February 12

3:00 pm - Follow the Drinking Gourd

4:00 pm - Laser Magic

7:00 pm - Our Lovely Skies

8:00 pm - Laser Love laser concert


Saturday, February 19

3:00 pm - Earth, Moon, Sun, and Coyote

4:00 pm - Laser Magic

7:00 pm - To Worlds Beyond: Journey through our Solar System

8:00 pm - Laser Queen laser concert


Saturday, February 26

3:00 pm - Rockin' Rocket Ride

4:00 pm - SkyLights music concert

7:00 pm - To Worlds Beyond: Journey through our Solar System

8:00 pm - Laser Queen laser concert



Good to Know...

Admission: $10 per person for one show

$18 per person for two shows on the same day

Payments are taken at the Planetarium on the day of the show.

Reservations are recommended. Call 908-231-8805 or email the Planetarium.

Provide your name, phone number, email, which show you want to see, and how many tickets you'd like.

Please arrive 20-30 minutes before the show to pay for your tickets.

The closest parking lots are #9 and #1. Here is a campus map.

Late arrivals are NOT admitted to the Planetarium's theater once a show has started.

Masks are required indoors for everyone ages 2 and older regardless of vaccination status.


Sensory-Friendly Show


The Sky Above

Saturday, March 5, 5:00 p.m.

A special astronomy and music show designed for families with children on the Autism spectrum or those with developmental disabilities. These sensory-friendly shows, which are appropriate for audiences of all ages, will provide a comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. During the show, the doors will remain open so children may freely leave and return if they choose. Lights will be left dim (instead of dark), and the audio will be lowered and kept at a consistent level. “The Sky Above” show includes music, laser lights, stories, and information about the planets, the Moon and constellations. Content is presented on a kindergarten level.

Admission: $10 per person

Payments are taken on the day of the show at the Planetarium.

Reservations are recommended. Call 908-231-8805 or email the Planetarium.

Provide your name, phone number, email, which show you want to see, and how many tickets you'd like.

Saturn on Puzzle


The Sky in February


What's Up this Month?


Jupiter is the lone planet easily visible in the evening sky. Look low in the west at dusk. As the month progresses, Jupiter drops lower in the evening sky. Jupiter sets at mid-twilight on February 21. It's in conjunction with the Sun on March 5 and will re-emerge into the morning twilight in early April 2022.

Uranus is high in the southwest sky when the nearly first quarter Moon passes Uranus. Use minoculars or a small telescope to find Uranus. Try observing Uranus on the days after the bright Moon has moved farther from the planet.

Veus, Mercury, and Mars are visible at dawn, low in the southeast all month long. Try looking at crescent Venus with binoculars or a telescope as it grows during the month. On Feb 1, Venus is a 16% crescent. By Feb 28, crescent Venus has waxed to 32%. Mercury gets closest to Venus on Feb 6 when it is 13 degrees to the lower left of Venus. Mars stays to the lower right of Venus as the gap between them decreases Venus and Mars will make their closest approach next month. Of these three planets, Venus is the brightest. Mercury is second in brightness and Mars is the faintest of the three. At the very end of the month, Saturn joins the scene to the lower left of Mercury.


Cross-Quarter Days

Is there really any reason to get excited about Groundhog Day? Astronomically, YES! It's a cross-quarter day, marking the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.


Winter is the shortest of the four seasons, lasting 88.99 days. It is shortest because at this time of year, the Earth is at its closest point in its orbit to the Sun. So, when an object is closest to the Sun, it moves fastest in its orbit; gravity insists upon that . . . that is fundamental natural law. Conversely, we are farthest from the Sun in early July, so we are moving slowest in our orbit. Which is why summer is the longest season, lasting just over 93 days.

At the midpoint . . . we will be exactly between last December's Winter Solstice and the upcoming Vernal Equinox on March 20th.



Moon Phases

New Moon February 1

First Quarter February 8

Full Moon February 16

Third Quarter February 23


Private Shows / Field Trips


You can schedule a private show in the Planetarium for your group of 1-75 people.

Weekdays: 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm

Saturdays: 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 5:00 pm

Weekday evenings will be considered on an individual basis.



Choose an astronomy show or a laser concert!

·     Rockin' Rocket Ride

·     Magic Tree House: Space Mission

·     Accidental Astronauts

·     From Earth to the Universe

·     Black Holes

·     Exploding Universe

·     Tonight's Sky

and more!

·     The Best of Pink Floyd

·     The Beatles

·     Led Zeppelin

·     Grateful Dead

·     Queen

·     Rock of Ages (music from the movie/Broadway show)

·     Pop Rock (family-friendly)

·     Laser Magic (family-friendly)


and more!




 Virtual Field Trips

Teachers, Principals, Science Supervisors, Scout Leaders, Home School coordinators, Senior Center managers, and Parents!

Schedule virtual field trips for your students and clients. Programs are led by a live Planetarium Educator and always include time for Q&A. All programs support NGSS/NJSLS.

Scheduling is flexible. We can present during the school day, after school, or evenings.

Number of attendees: up to 30 per session

Fee: $100 for a 45-minute program

$125 for Magic Tree House: Space Mission

The Planetarium will provide a password-protected Zoom link before your date. We can also schedule programs on Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. You can also invite the Planetarium to join your preferred platform.



Explore the Universe with RVCC Planetarium



Watch our YouTube channel for weekly updates on what's visible in the sky as well as activities you can do at home. 

Do you miss the Planetarium? Take a tour of the exhibits.

Join our Facebook Group for regular posts about astronomy news, activities, virtual tours, satellite passes that you can see in the real sky, and more!

Follow us on Instagram to see pictures we take at the 3M Observatory and other news.


Please Consider Making a Tax-Deductible Donation to the Planetarium

Support from the community has repeatedly played a key role in our success at the RVCC Planetarium. We are proud to offer affordable, educational field trips and engaging public events for our community. Your continued support helps us to provide innovative, educational experiences for our diverse audiences. Donations made to the Planetarium throughout the year help support new and exciting programs and help us maintain and upgrade our equipment.

 Thank you for your support!



To reach us, email