The Astronomy Cafe


The Astronomy Cafe  is a brand new planetarium event!  On the second Monday of each month,attend an informal discussion about a different astronomical topic.  Each presentation includes aquestion/answer period and a night sky tour.  Admission by donation. (Suggested $5-7)


Exo planets

Monday, April 13, 2015    7:00 p.m.

We've discussed the worlds within our solar system.  Tonight, we extend our reach into the galaxy.  The Kepler Probe continues its search for exo-planets, those worlds in orbit around other stars.   How can the Keplerprobe find these worlds?   It is possible our galaxy might contain as many as one trillion planets.    How much can be know about them?

 Nymphs of Olympus

Monday, May 11, 2015  7:00 p.m.

An evening of constellation and planet mythology.  The Astronomy Cafe focuses on the ancient sagas of the stars.   We not only include constellation overlays, but also artwork based on the rich mythological traditions of the night sky.

Universa; expansion

Monday, June 8, 2015    7:00 p.m.

June's Astronomy Cafe takes us to the beginning of space-time.  How did the Universe start?  How did astronomers figure out that the cosmos actually had a beginning?   Was everything once condensed into a singularity?  Will the Unverse continue forever? Or, could the Big Bang model actually be incorrect?

Night sky above a canyon

Monday, July 13, 2015   7:00 p.m.

In January, we conducted a thorough tour of the winter sky.  Tonight, we explore the rich summer sky.    See the "Summer Triangle,"  "Hercules," "Draco the Dragon," "Delphinus the Dolphin," and, of course, the brilliant Milky Way, amongst other celestial wonders.   Join us as we explore the sky above the campfires.  

New Horizons spacecraft

Monday, August 10, 2015    7:00 p.m.

The New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto in July 2015.   What did New Horizons see?  What have we learned about the Pluto system?  What scientific equipment did New Horizons employ to study these outer worlds?   We venture out to the edge of the planet system to take a closer look at Pluto. 

 Lunar Eclipse

Monday, September 14, 2015  7:00 p.m.

We're preparing for the total lunar eclipse on the night of Septgember 27/28th.  What causes such eclipses?  What will we see on the night of the 27th?   How are the lunar eclipses related to solar eclipses?   We discuss the geometry of lunar eclipses and how to read lunar eclipse charts.


Monday, October 12, 2015  7:00 p.m.

With a population in the hundreds of trillions, stars abound in the cosmos. Not only do they adorn the night sky, they also generate the elements necessary for life's formation.   How do they differ?  What determines a star's life cycle?  How have astronomers managed to amass such an extensive knowledge about them?   October's astronomy cafe explores the stars. 

Solar system
Monday, November 9, 2015   7:00 p.m.

In the lifetimes of many of us, what we know about our Solar System has undergone a remarkable transformation. Thanks to the flights of robotic spacecraft, what was once believed about the planets has turned into myth, while many mysteries have been resolved, and new ones generated. Irwin Gratz invites you to renew this voyage of discovery and wonder. He'll give you a glimpse into what was known about our Solar System as late as the early 1960s, before the likes of Mariner, Pioneer, Voyager, Venera, and others revealed the worlds around us to be more complex than imagined, and, in some ways, eerily familiar.
Star of Bethlehem

Monday, December 14, 2015      7:00 p.m.
The "Star of Bethlehem" has intrigued astronomers for centuries.  If the star were a naturally occurring event, what could it have been?  A supernova?  A planetary conjunction? A comet?  Or, something else entirely.   As we celebrate the holiday season, we discuss the astronomy of the Christmas star.

Winter Sky

Monday, January 11, 2016    7:00 p.m.
Twice a year (January and July), the Astronomy Cafe offers attendees a thorough night sky tour.  Tonight, sit back in our star dome theatre and enjoy an guided tour through the winter night sky.  See the Winter Hexagon, Orion the Hunter, the Milky Way, the sparkling star, Sirius, and much more.

Aurora in Sweden

Monday, February 8, 2016        7:00 p.m.

The sublimely beautiful Aurora Borealis ("Northern Lights.")  Though we associate these lights with winter, we can see them anytime of year.    What causes the aurora?  Is there a best of time of night to look for it?   Discover the science behind a spectacle than only five percent of the world's population has observed. 

Reservations not required.   Doors open half an hour before the presentation begins.  For more information, consult our, call 207-780-4249 or  or e-mail 

About Us

What can you do at the Southworth Planetarium?  See a showenroll in a classattend a lecture, buy fascinating science toys, explore our exhibit area, learn the night sky.

We are open throughout the week. Not only do we have public shows, but we offer private shows to school groups, scout troops, birthday parties, business organizations, and more.

Like the Universe, itself, the more you explore the planetarium, the more you'll discover!  

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