March 1, 2017



Kate Moore, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations

(616) 929-1713;



New Shows Launch at the Chaffee Planetarium

at the Grand Rapids Public Museum


Grand Rapids, Michigan – The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced today that a brand new line-up of shows will premiere at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium this spring. Beginning March 19, the Chaffee Planetarium will be showing Eclipses and Phases of the Moon and Escher’s Universe to audiences.


2017 marks a special year for solar experiences in the United States. On Monday, August 21 a total solar eclipse will take place across the continental U.S. from Washington to South Carolina. Leading up to this special event, the GRPM will be showing Eclipses and Phases of the Moon, highlighting how and why solar and lunar eclipses happen. Visitors will learn about the mythology surrounding eclipses, as well as everything they must to know to safely see the astronomical event. Eclipses and Phases of the Moon is produced by Physics Foundry.


The GRPM will be hosting a special Eclipse Day Party on August 21 with special activities relating to the solar eclipse here in Michigan and the solar system, along with planetarium shows and more. WZZM 13 is a media sponsor for the Eclipse Day Party and the Eclipses planetarium show.


A second new show for the spring line-up features the mathematically inspired graphic arts of M.C. Escher through an art documentary created specifically for planetariums called Escher’s Universe. Visitors can expect to learn about Escher’s life as a unique mix of artist, astronomer, mathematician and traveler. This documentary will take viewers to the Escher’s studio where his most iconic works are displayed, revealing his unique ability to join science with art. The show will continue to explore how Escher’s travels impacted his work and marvel at shapes, three-dimensional reconstructions, dual worlds and unreal buildings revealing Escher’s continuous search for knowledge.


Planetarium tickets are $4 each with purchased general admission to the Museum, $5 each for planetarium-only tickets and free to Museum members. For more planetarium show times and to purchase tickets, visit


These new planetarium shows are brought to the Museum by the citizens of Kent County and the voter approved 2016 millage.


Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium

The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium offers brand new shows featuring the latest Digistar projection technology and immersive surround sound for an unbelievably rich and realistic experience. The Chaffee Planetarium has undergone 1.2 million dollars in renovations, and reopened in March 2014 with all new technology, sound system, full dome and seating. The renovation was made possible through the generosity of our donors, including the lead gift from The Wege Foundation.


The Planetarium is named for Grand Rapids native, Roger B. Chaffee, who died with fellow Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom and Ed White during a pre-launch test in 1967. The Planetarium was originally opened in 1994 and underwent a multi-million dollar renovation fall 2013 to spring 2014.


Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit