New Award-winning Show! Big Astronomy

Big Astronomy Brand


Planetarium Show Highlights People, Places, and Science of Astronomy 

Winner “Best Astronomy Education” Award, Dome Under Fulldome Film Festival

Co-produced by Renae Kerrigan, Planetarium Director, Peoria Riverfront Museum

It’s exciting to work with a great team of professionals to develop a suite of educational products that will be used by the planetarium community and schools around the world. - Renae Kerrigan, Leadership Team, Big Astronomy

It takes many people with diverse backgrounds, talents, and skills to run a world-class observatory. Meet a few of these people as they share the wonder of the sky—and the excitement of discovery. Explore the world-class observatories nestled in northern Chile’s mountains and learn why Chile, with its beautiful mountain ranges and clear, cloudless skies create an ideal environment for studying the cosmos. Continue discovering! Participate in live conversations with observatory staff, explore exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, educational activities, and ongoing science experiments all at


Big Astronomy is set in Chile where the dry, dark, sky, and remoteness creates an ideal site to observe the universe. By the year 2022 it is expected that nearly 70% of the world’s ground-based observing infrastructure will be located there, and the US and other countries are investing billions of dollars in astronomy in Chile. Big Astronomy introduces audiences to the wide variety of personnel involved in advancing astronomical discovery.

With support from NSF-Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, Associated Universities Inc. (AUI) partnered with Michigan State University, the California Academy of Sciences, Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory including Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and Gemini Observatory, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array to complete the $2 million project.

The Big Astronomy Leadership Team includes Ryan Wyatt and Molly Michelson at California Academy of Sciences, Dr. Shannon Schmoll, Dr. Katie Hinko and Dr. Jesica Trucks at Abrams Planetarium-Michigan State University, Vivian White at Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Renae Kerrigan at Peoria Riverfront Museum, Tiffany Stone Wolbrecht at Ward Beecher Planetarium-Youngstown State University, Shari Lifson at Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, and Yasmin Catricheo and Tim Spuck at Associated Universities Inc.

Sponsored by Visionary Society

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