The Hayden Planetarium is a public planetarium located on Central Park West, New York City, next to and organizationally part of the American Museum of Natural History.
Since February 2000, the planetarium has been one of the two main attractions within the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The top half of the Hayden Sphere houses the Star Theater, which uses high-resolution fulldome video to project “space shows” based in scientific visualization of current astrophysical data, in addition to a customized Zeiss Star Projector system replicating an accurate night sky as seen from Earth. The bottom half of the Sphere is home to the Big Bang Theater, which depicts the birth of the universe in a four-minute program. As visitors leave the Planetarium theater, they exit to the Size Scales of the Universe exhibit which shows the vast array of sizes in the universe; the walkway itself is a timeline of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present. This exhibit leads to the Big Bang Theater and exits to the Cosmic Pathway, which shows the history of the universe. From the bottom of the Cosmic Pathway, visitors can stop by the Hall of Planet Earth to explore geology, weather, plate tectonics and more, or go down to the Hall of the Universe to explore the realms of planets, stars, galaxies and more.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is the planetarium’s director.
The Hayden Planetarium offers a number of courses and public presentations including the Frontiers of Astrophysics and Distinguished Authors lecture series.
When the Hayden Planetarium reopened after renovation in 2000 with a model of only eight planets, excluding what was then called planet Pluto, it resulted in a headline-making controversy.
|1935||The Hayden Planetarium, designed by architects Trowbridge &
Livingston, opens, after its construction is funded by a $650,000
loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and a $150,000
donation from banker Charles Hayden of Hayden, Stone & Co. Its
mission was to give the public
a more lively and sincere appreciation of the magnitude of the universe... and for the wonderful things which are daily occurring in the universe.
|1960||A Zeiss Mark IV projector is installed.|
|1973||A Zeiss Mark VI projector and new seats are installed.|
|1979||The planetarium appears as a backdrop for scenes in the film Manhattan. Woody Allen and Diane Keaton play characters who walk around within the planetarium after escaping from a sudden downburst of rain.|
|1997||The original Hayden Planetarium is closed and demolished in January.|
|1999||A new, customized Zeiss Mark IX projector is installed in August. It is accompanied by a digital dome projection system that provides a 3-D visualization of the universe based on images generated in real time by a Silicon Graphics supercomputer.|
|2000||On February 19th, the Rose Center for Earth and Space, designed by James Polshek and containing the new Hayden Planetarium, opens to the public.|