Star Gazing Room

student in planetarium

Payne Family Native American Center

Housed in the Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, UM’s planetarium is known as the Star Gazing Room in the Payne Family Native American Center (PFNAC). Now open for public, private, and school shows we invite you to join us as we view the wonders of the night sky and explore the cosmos.

Public Shows

Constellations, planets, currently visible deep-sky objects, and exciting upcoming celestial events - our presenters design live shows to dive deeper into the cosmos and foster a greater understanding of our universe.  Our shows are always live, our planetarium presenters are passionate astronomers with active research activities.  You might hear about the star lore of different cultures, discoveries in solar physics, planetary exploration, the search for exoplanets, galaxies and cosmology, and recent space science mission discoveries.  Every show is unique.


Tickets for all public evening shows are $8 per person plus applicable service charge.  Tickets are available on Griztix.

All public shows are held on Friday evenings, with two shows per evening at 5:30 PM and 6:30 PM.  Check out our current semester schedule and get your tickets today.

Please arrive 10 minutes early for your show. Once the show begins, there will be no late admittance.

School and Private Shows

In addition to public evenings, we provide programs for school and/or youth groups, summer camps and private groups. Scheduling and pricing information for these types of shows can be found on the school groups and private group booking pages.

Planetarium Policies and Courtesies

Planetarium Behavior

  • During school hours, please be quiet as a mouse when entering/exiting the Native American building, classes are in session.
  • Light and sound travel well in our planetarium, please silence cell phones and put them away.
  • Our equipment is central to all we do and nearly impossible to replace, please take care to give it some space.
  • Food or drink is not allowed in the planetarium.
  • Remain seated once the show has begun.  If you must leave the planetarium at any time during a show, please ask our presenter to help you safely exit, we wouldn't want you to fall in the dark. 
  • School and youth groups must have at least one chaperone for every 8 students.

Age Recommendations

The planetarium welcomes families to our shows. We do not have a minimum age restriction for children who attend. For public shows, we recommend an age of 7 and above as shows are geared to adult audiences and the acoustics of our intimate planetarium make it necessary for participants to be silent during the 50-minute show. 

During the week, we offer school shows, these programs are designed to engage and foster a child’s fascination with the sky and our programs are crafted to be appropriate to the age of each group.  Teachers interested in booking shows for their classes, please see the School Shows page.

Planetarium Capacity

The maximum number of attendees is 28. For school shows, the maximum number of attendees is 27, plus 3 chaperones. 

How to Find the Planetarium

The Planetarium is inside the Payne Family Native American Center, located just east of Arthur Ave. adjacent to the Oval (shown here on our campus map). The Planetarium is in the basement of the building - look for the unique curvature of the wall - the "Star Gazing Room" - room 013.

campus map with planetarium marked

Planetarium Parking

Currently, the closest parking lot to the Payne Family Native American Center (PFNAC) is the lot by the Interdisciplinary Science Building. Parking is free in this lot after 5 pm. The lot is located directly off Beckwith Avenue (the first left from Arthur). To find the PFNAC building, exit the lot moving North, follow the path between the construction site and Health Sciences building, and the PFNAC building will be on your right just before you reach the Griz statue.  The main entrance faces the oval, circling the building towards the oval will bring you to the front entrance.