Planetarium at UM

Honored to be a part of the Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, UM’s planetarium is housed in the beautiful Star Gazing Room in the basement of the Payne Family Native American Center.  Now open for public, private, and school shows we invite you to join us as we view the wonders of the night sky and explore the cosmos!

Providing live, astronomer led shows with infinite possibilities, the Star Gazing Room is an immersive environment dedicated to the presentation of astronomy and Native storytelling.  Whether examining planets in the distant reaches of our solar system and beyond, or decoding the Native American astronomy of Montana’s skies; the Star Gazing Room provides an exciting and interactive educational experience.

Each of our shows will familiarize you with the constellations, planets, and bright deep sky objects currently visible, as well as any exciting upcoming celestial events.  The remainder of each show will focus on a specific topic, including such possibilities as the star lore of different cultures, discoveries in solar physics, planetary exploration, the search for exoplanets, galaxies and cosmology, or the discoveries of recent and current space science missions.

Tickets must be purchased in advance and will not be available at the door; shows usually sell out in advance.  Each evening of public shows will consist of two shows, 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM.  Visit our Public Show page to purchase tickets. Please arrive 10 minutes early for your show so that we may check you in.

School and Private Shows

In addition to public evenings, we are also providing programs for both visiting school and youth groups and private groups during the academic semester. School/youth shows include Summer Camps. Scheduling and pricing for these shows can be found on the corresponding pages.

Age Recommendations

We do not have any firm guidelines with respect to children.  If a child can remain quiet and attentive for the 50 minutes, then it is fine for that child to attend.  We find that children age 7 and older seem able to enjoy the show best, as the subject matter is at the adult level.  Parents are responsible for their child and may be asked to leave if the child is disruptive.

Planetarium Capacity

The maximum number of attendees for public and private shows is 28.  For school shows, the maximum number of attendees is 30, which would include 3 chaperones.  The upper limit of 30 in school shows is based on fire code, and cannot be exceeded.

How to Find the Planetarium

The Payne Family Native American Center is located just east of Arthur Ave., adjacent to “The Oval” on campus.  When viewing this campus map, the PFNAC is located on the southwestern edge of the green oval, near the center of campus.  Once inside, the Star Gazing Room is found in the basement, and is numbered Room 013.  The curvature of the walls is rather unique, and the door to Room 013 is labeled “Star Gazing Room.”


Payne Family Native American Center
Room 013
University of Montana
32 Campus Drive
Missoula, MT 59812