The Museum is open Wed–Mon, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM. The Sea Center on Stearns Wharf is open daily, 10:00 AM–5:00 PM.

Astronomy Programs

There’s more to space at the Museum than our Space Sciences exhibits!

Check out the wide array of offerings from our Education Division’s Astronomy Programs, and don't forget to scan our calendar for astronomy events!

Astronomy News

We got three local experts together to explain what you're seeing in some of the first images looking deep into the history of the universe! Understand why the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is so important, and why people all over the world are excited by this huge scientific achievement.

Learn more about the JWST at these upcoming events:

James Webb Space Telescope Expert Panel - October 13, 2022

Gladwin Planetarium

Museum visitors enjoying Planetarium Show

The Central Coast’s only planetarium is also one of the most fun places to bring your curiosity about space. Our expert Astronomy Programs presenters are ready to answer your questions during live interactive programs. Check out the current planetarium schedule for details.

Palmer Observatory

Expert Astronomy Programs presenter

The round white building near the Museum Backyard is an observatory equipped with an excellent telescope. The Palmer Observatory opens for special events and programming. It’s the centerpiece of all our Star Parties, and an exciting bonus to daytime visits when staff or volunteers are available to offer safe views of the Sun. Whenever you visit the Museum, ask at the Admissions Office or swing by the observatory in person to find out if it’s open that day.

Star Parties

Star Parties at the Museum

On the second Saturday of each month from dusk to 10:00 PM, the Museum hosts a free Star Party organized with the local astronomy club, the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. Come learn about the night sky with us! Check for Star Party details on our calendar.

Astronomy School Programs

Our school field trip programs at the Museum include a full-dome planetarium show and a demonstration of the powerful telescopes in our observatory, all while meeting Next Generation Science Standards. Check out the menu of field trip programs here.

Is this a meteorite?

Hand holding a meteorite

Unfortunately, our staff don’t have time to evaluate all the “meteowrongs” that are brought to us. If you think you have a meteorite, you can learn more from meteorite experts. Run your specimen through the flowchart of tests on this page created by meteorite experts to determine if you should contact those experts.