Astronomy at College of San Mateo - Planetarium
Flex Day
No classes or student services
October 11, 2023
Veterans Day
November 10, 2023
Thanksgiving Weekend
November 23-26, 2023
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"The Sky Tonight" Planetarium Show


During the regular Fall/Spring/Summer Semesters, Professor Stanford presents "The Sky Tonight" on the second Friday of every month, with two shows: at 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm in the CSM Planetarium. See the Event Calendar for specific dates.

There are no tickets for our shows. The planetarium has 95 seats per show. We allow people to line up in front of the planetarium a half hour before each show, and we will the seats on a first come first serve basis. Children 5 years and older please. No reservations, holding seats, food, or drinks in the planetarium. Arrive early for the first show, it fills up quickly!

Shows begin on time, and doors are locked during the show. No late entry. No ins/outs

For Friday night events (The Sky Tonight and SMCAS meetings/speakers), parking is FREE in Lots N, P, Q, R, and S during astronomy events. No parking pass necessary.

Fall 2023 Schedule

Date_________________ Title
September 8  Exploding Universe
September 30th - Family Science Day Sunstruck
October 13 Voyager
No Show in November (Veteran's Day Holiday)  
December 8 Phantom of the Universe

This event is weather dependent. Latest weather updates.

SMCAS General Meeting and Guest Speaker

The San Mateo County Astronomical Society holds their monthly meeting and public talks on the first Friday of every month in the CSM planetarium. The meeting begins at 7 pm in the ISC, followed by a public talk around 8 pm in the planetarium. The general public is invited to this FREE event.

SMCAS's guest speaker talks are not just for astronomers, they're for everyone! Talks start roughly at 8 pm and typically last an hour, with a Q&A session immediately following the talk. Topics vary in range, from asteroids to black holes, gravitational waves, and new emerging technologies. All speakers are experts in their fields, condensing years of research, into hour long, publicly friendly talks. Join us for a night of learning and intrigue! 

Fall 2023 Schedule

Date                        Speaker            
September 1st Frank Seminaro
October 6th Dr. Thomas Greene
November 3rd Hannah Pollek
December 1st Carl Crum

For more information call Ed Pieret at (650) 862-9602 or visit the SMCAS website.

Project Star Gaze

Project Star Gaze
Professor Stanford showing spectra during Project Star Gaze.
We're proud to continue our popular "Project Star Gaze" planetarium program for kids and teachers. Designed primarily for kindergarten through 5th graders, "Project Star Gaze" offers children and their teachers real experience with scientific expirements during our FREE field trips. Our astronomy faculty make sure to custom tailor the workshops for each age group. These shows give school children an exciting introduction to astronomy! Hosted in CSM's planetarium, we've served thousands of students and visitors since 1963. Our facility is equipped with dual JVC 4K projectors, a GOTO Chronos II opto-mechanical space simulator, and has seats for 95 visitors. Each session includes a planetarium show, plus a demonstration on the basics of light. Our demostration allows childeren to phyisally see the colorful lines that allows astronomers to determine which elements stars are made of. Teachers permitting, we also allows the students to keep their diffraction glasses to preform their own expirements at home! "Project Star Gaze" provides an exciting venue for students to be introduced to scientific methodology and its application to everyday life. So schedule your field trip today! 

Recent studies recommend that elementary school children be exposed to dynamic, hands-on experiences with science. Early in their education, they need an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of science and the scientific method. This program also exposes elementary school children to a college environment, helping to encourage lifelong learning and kindle an early interest in pursuing higher education. "Project Star Gaze" also represents CSM's commitment to its community. Partners providing a variety of critical project resources include: The San Mateo County Community College Foundation, and the San Mateo County Astronomical Society, which meets monthly in the planetarium.

To schedule a FREE field trip, contact Professor Mohsen Janatpour at or call (650) 574-6272.