Reunion Program Friday May 25 @ 1:00 PM "We Are Part of This Universe"

Planetarium Program

For nearly 60 years the Bassett Planetarium has served the College well. This tool has helped countless individuals better understand their place in the universe. Join Fred Venne, planetarium director, as he uses the vintage Spitz A3P Starball to help re-create the night sky over Amherst. In addition, using a classic Orrery, participants will examine the plane of the solar system, the tilt of the Earth, day/night and seasons. The one takeaway from the planetarium visit may be best said by Neil deGrasse Tyson, “We are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.”

Planetarium

Bassett Planetarium, located on the second floor of Morgan Hall, offers free programming for educational groups of 10 or more by appointment only. Please note that the building is not wheelchair accessible, nor are there adequate restrooms for groups.

The Planetarium is open September–June, and closed July–August.

Hours and Access

Planetarium hours are Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (no walk-in availability). 

With advance notice (ideally 2 weeks), it is possible to schedule a visit outside of regular hours; contact Alfred Venne, Planetarium Director, for more information.

The planetarium has a 60-person maximum capacity. The facility is not wheelchair accessible, nor are there adequate restrooms for groups.

Directions

GPS-friendly address: 165 South Pleasant St., Amherst, MA, 01002

Bassett Planetarium is located on the Amherst College campus, on the second floor of Morgan Hall. The main entrance to Amherst College is just east of the intersection of Routes 9 and 116 South, adjacent to the Amherst College PVTA (Public Transportation) bus loop.

See our Campus Map for more information.

Parking and Passenger Drop-off

On weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., campus parking is restricted to permit holders. During these hours, visitors are asked to park in the Town of Amherst’s metered parking spaces (see Amherst town parking map). There is no public parking adjacent to Morgan Hall.

On weekends, all visitors may park in any spot on campus, including along the main quadrangle.

Accessible parking spaces are available to visitors at all times.  One is located between Morgan and College Halls and others are located across the green on Quadrangle Drive, Boltwood Ave., and in the parking lot adjacent to Converse Hall. Visitors with limited mobility may be dropped off off directly in front of Morgan hall.

See our Campus Map for off-campus parking locations.

Buses

School buses should enter the College campus on Quadrangle Drive off South Pleasant St. and take the first left at Converse Hall. Students can get off there and take the walkway across the green and the crosswalk to Morgan Hall and the Bassett Planetarium.

Bus parking for group visits is in the College’s Hills Lot. We ask that groups be dropped in front of Converse Hall near the PVTA bus stop and then park in the Hills Lot. The lot is large and buses can turn around and exit easily. Park in the marked spaces by the facilities building at the far side of Hills Lot.

Visitor Policies

Visitors must be part of a community educational or campus group of 10 or more people, and visits must be scheduled in advance. (There are no drop in hours.)

Note that the Morgan Hall contains three separate departments: Bassett Planetarium, and the American Studies and Anthropology Departments. The Planetarium is located on the second floor. Hallways and stairways must be kept quiet because of the classrooms they serve. Children must be carefully supervised at all times.

Young Visitors

The Planetarium was designed for college groups, but children and their caregivers are welcome and frequently part of visiting groups. The operation of the facility is dependent upon a very dark and silent space. Some children and adults may be uneasy in the dark.

Personal Items

Personal items may be stored under individual seats in the Planetarium.

Food and Drink

Visiting groups may bring food or beverages with prior approval of the Planetarium Director.  There are no water fountains in Morgan Hall. (Water bottles are aways permitted)

Phones, Photography and Filming

Still photography and filming for personal use is permitted before and after planetarium programs.  During programs all electronic devises must be silenced and all lit screens  dimmed.  


Questions? Contact Alfred Venne, Planetarium Director