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"Earth and Space" at the Island Planetarium

"Earth and Space" at the Island Planetarium


For more than 20 years the Island Planetarium has been offering tailor-made shows to schools and clubs. Theses presentations use a range of media including the Planetarium Star Theatre; bringing the universe to life for the pupils, whatever their age.

The Planetarium is a multimedia star-theatre which can accommodate 33 people (with up to another three on plastic seats). Groups larger than this can be split and we can highly recommend a visit to one of the other attractions at the Fort Victoria Country Park. There is an exhibition area with models and exhibits, some of which are used to cover the show material. Our shop carries a wide range of astronomy souvenirs, books, posters, videos and other teaching aids.

Our programmes have been greeted with enthusiasm by schools from around the country with many making us an annual fixture in their timetable. We review the programmes each year and have developed several new options - prepared by astronomers and qualified teachers - not only to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and your pupils but also to give you the best value for money.

One Hour Session


Cost of £60 per group/1 hour session.
Group = 33 Students and Teachers.
No charge for teachers.



On the tellurium - 20 minutes
This popular topic explains clearly why the length of day changes throughout the year. Why the height of the sun in the sky changes and why we get different seasons as the earth orbits the sun, spinning on its tilted axis.

Tour of the Planets

15 minutes
Tour the solar system with a close up view of each planet. We look at sizes, distances, how they orbit the sun and the major differences between each planet.

Our Earth in Space

Planetarium - 20 minutes
Why do the patterns of stars change the way they do throughout the year? Find some of the most prominent constellations in the sky, learn how to find the pole star, find a compass in the sky. Discover the stars which never set and why it seems as if the stars turn around the Earth.


You can either replace one of the above modules (no extra charge) or bolt it on (prices below)


An extra £0.40 per child per bolt-on



Moon Phases & Eclipses

Model/board/video - 20 minutes
As the moon orbits the earth, one side is lit by the sun and one side is in darkness. This module explains why, to an observer on earth we see the Moon change shape. As the moon goes around the earth on its inclined orbit, sometimes it covers exactly the disc of the sun and why sometimes the earth's shadow makes the moon go an orange colour.

Constellation origins/Greek Myths

Planetarium - 20 minutes
Learn about why we see the patterns of stars that we do. Who thought of them and what do they show? Your astronomer will guide you through the constellations, weaving tales of heroes and villains, monsters and magic.

More coming soon..

We are currently working on more bolt-ons.

After the presenations

Some groups like to spend time looking around the exhibits and in our sales area. You should allow for being at the centre up to half an hour longer than the booked time.

Times and Dates

The above presentations can be run Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm and between 2pm and 4pm.


Allow plenty of time to reach the Planetarium for a prompt start e.g. Travel time from Sandown/Shanklin takes approx. an hour!

Evening & Special Shows

Some groups like to visit us during the evening. We can run shows at 6.30pm and 7.30pm; this makes for a more leisurely visit, with more time for browsing in the exhibition area and our astronomy gift shop. Also we can run prerecorded entertainment shows and special interest programmes if desired. These evening shows are normally the same cost as our schools programmes, unless there are significant preparatory costs.

Post SATS - Welcome to the Universe

Especially for those groups who have completed STATS when they visit us or looking for an entertaining alternative to a curriculum based show. We look beyond the Solar System and the galaxy, out into the depth of space, widening our horizons and understanding. What is the Universe, what do we understand about it and why do we think it is this way? The show ends with a short tour of evening sky on the night of your visit.
Note: - This module will replace one of the dome modules.

Call us on 01983 761555 or email bookings@firstlight-astronomy.co.uk for more details and/or to book.