Reynolds Science Center Planetarium

The Reynolds Planetarium at Henderson State University is a one-of-a-kind teaching, learning, and special occasion place located in the heart of Southwest Arkansas. Open to the public for shows, star-gazing events, field trips, and private functions, the planetarium reflects Henderson State University's commitment to service through educational engagement with the community.

With an 8.2 meter (27.5 ft) diameter dome and state of the art Digitalis Gamma Digital Projection system, The Reynolds Planetarium is one of the largest and most sophisticated in the state of Arkansas. The Digitalis Gamma system can project stars, planets, galaxies, and virtually anything else onto the dome as they look in the real sky (including both the Northern and Southern hemispheres - when was the last time you saw the Southern Cross?) as well as immerse the audience in a full-dome animation show. Shows combine stunning visual effects on the dome with powerful surround sound to transport audiences to all reaches of the universe, from a light-speed trip to see mysterious black holes to the Stars of the Pharaohs.

The Donald W. Reynolds planetarium is a member of the Southwestern Association of Planetariums (SWAP) and the Great Lakes Planetarium Association (GLPA).

Planetarium Schedule: Fall 2016-Spring 2017

When you attend a planetarium show, you will be given a tour of the night's sky, visiting beautiful planets, nebulae, and galaxies. Before your show begins, your guide will point out the fascinating objects you can see that night with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope. Plan for 10-15 minutes in addition to the length of your show.

Thursday, September 8th at 7 PM “Fire Fall”

Throughout Earth's violent history, impacts from comets and asteroids have mercilessly shaped its surface. The ancient barrage continues today; from harmless meteors - those brilliant streaks in the night sky, to mountain sized boulders wandering perilously close to Earth. Terrifying and majestic, these invaders from space are capable of utter destruction yet they have delivered life-giving water and most of the organic materials necessary for life. Life on Earth owes its very existence to these denizens of the solar system, yet it could all be wiped out in an instant. This ceaseless fire fall is our only tangible connection to the universe beyond and is an ever-present reminder of our own humble beginnings in the hostile environment of space. (27 min)

Sunday, September 11th at 2 PM “Fire Fall”

Thursday, September 22nd at 7 PM “Black Holes – The other side of infinity”

Be dazzled by the visualizations of the formation of the early universe, star birth, and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super-massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. (24 min)

Thursday, October 6th at 7 PM “Dawn of the Space Age”

From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings – be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion and their perseverance to explore. (36 Min)

Sunday, October 9th at 2 PM “Dawn of the Space Age”

Thursday, October 20th at 7 PM “Mars Quest”

Developed in conjunction with research scientists involved with NASA’s current and future Mars missions. This show discusses the Mars of the past, what we know of Mars now and what we hope to be the Mars of the future. (41 min.)

Thursday, November 10th at 7 PM “Secrets of the Sun”

Secrets of the Sun allow audiences to experience an intimate look at the role the sun plays in the life of our Solar System. From the nuclear forces churning at the heart of the sun to the mass ejections of solar material into the surrounding space, we will experience the power of the sun and its impact on the planets and ultimately life on Earth. We will trace the life cycle of the sun itself, going back to its beginnings and moving forward in time to its eventual death. (21 min)

Sunday, November 13th at 2 PM “Secrets of the Sun”

Thursday, November 17th at 7 PM “Nine Planets and Counting”

A Sudekum Planetarium production about the International Astronomical Union’s struggle to define a planet and how that definition might affect how scientists perceive and count the planets in our own solar system. (35 Min).

Thursday, December 1st at 7 PM “Mystery of the Christmas Star”

Journey back over 2000 years to Bethlehem as we seek to discover a scientific explanation for the star the wise men followed to find the baby Jesus. (31 min)

Sunday, December 4th at 2 PM “Mystery of the Christmas Star”

Thursday, December 8th at 6 PM “Mystery of the Christmas Star”

Thursday, January 26th at 7 PM “Super Volcanoes”

Super volcanoes explore rare types of volcanic eruptions that marshal the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The story of these big blow-outs is a tale of havoc and mayhem: mass extinctions, climate collapses, and violence beyond anything humans have ever witnessed. In this unique immersive experience, audiences will explore the impact of volcanism on Earth and other worlds in our solar system. Can a super volcano erupt in our own time? The answer is surprisingly close to home. (24 min)

Sunday, January 29th at 2 PM “Super Volcanoes”

Thursday, February 9th at 7 PM “Saturn – Jewel of the Heavens”

The Cassini space craft has lifted the veil on this once mysterious giant of our solar system. Data has been collected, not only on the giant itself, but also on the many moons orbiting Saturn and the countless particles encircling the planet known to all as the rings of Saturn. This data will be studied for years to come. (36 min)

Thursday, February 23rd at 7 PM “Universe”

An historical look at how we have envisioned the universe through the ages. We visit some of the ancient sites where our ancestors erected great structures with special astronomical significance. Finally we look at the Universe through the eyes of today's science and space explorers to build up a spectacular overview of the heavens. (22 min)

Sunday, February 26th at 2 PM “Universe”

Thursday, March 9th at 7 PM “Dawn of the Space Age”

From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings – be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, their passion and their perseverance to explore. (36 Min)

Thursday, March 30th at 7 PM “Two Small Pieces of Glass”

How the telescope has changed our few of the heavens from its inception, development, improvement and what is in store for the future of watching the stars. (25 min)

Sunday, April 2nd at 2 PM “Two Small Pieces of Glass”

Thursday, April 13th at 7 PM “Stars of the Pharaohs”

Travel to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar, and align huge buildings. Learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena, and experience some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in its original splendor. (36 min)

All public shows listed in the schedule above will start promptly at 7 p.m., and no late entries will be allowed.


  • General Public - $3 per person
  • HSU students, faculty and staff - $1 with school ID
  • OBU students, faculty, and staff - $1 with school ID

Group and Birthday Party Information

The planetarium accommodates various school and community groups throughout the year that wish to visit during the school day. The Physics Department will make every reasonable effort to schedule a show for your group.

For each group show, the cost is $50 for up to 45 people.  Contact us for group pricing of larger groups.  

To schedule a show for your group, contact:

Denise Cordova
Dr. Rick McDaniel 

The Society of Physics Students now hosts planetarium birthday parties including a science demo show.  This birthday package includes 1 planetarium show (22-45 minutes depending on the show), a science demo show in our physics lab classroom (approximately 25 minutes), and 24 gourmet cupcakes from Muffin Tops for a cost of $120. Up to 24 guests may be invited for this price.  

If you are interested in scheduling a planetarium birthday party, email the Society of Physics Students advisor Dr. Shannon Clardy at or call 870-230-5165.  

Click here for a list of Planetarium Shows currently available.

Astronomical Observing

Join faculty of the Department of Physics to observe the wonders of the night sky. The following dates and times are tentative.  They may change due to weather or cloud cover. 

Oct. 13 4:30 AM. Lower Dam – Finding your way around the morning sky. Orion (Betelguese, Orion nebula, Rigel), Gemini, Sirius, Taurus (Aldeberan and Pleiades), the winter six, …

Oct. 18 8:30 PM. Lower Dam – Deep sky objects in the evening sky. Antares, Sagittarius – towards the center of our galaxy.

Nov. 1 4:30 AM Lower Dam – Deep sky objects in the morning sky. Orion Nebula, Pleiades, Andromeda Galaxy…

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