Mobile Planetarium

Fancy an out-of-this-world immersive educational experience?


Enter our mobile planetarium and as the darkness surrounds you join UK Astronomy in an immersive 360-degree learning experience that takes you on a journey through the night sky!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a mobile / inflatable planetarium?

A planetarium is a theatre that is designed to entertain and educate visitors about astronomy and the night sky. Most planetariums are dome-shaped with images and videos projected onto the dome so that they can be made to appear and move realistically to simulate their motion.

An inflatable or mobile planetarium replicates this idea but with the difference that it can be easily transported to places where people already are, a typical example being a school or community space.

How does an inflatable planetarium work?

The dome is transported in a large bag and then rolled out in your school hall. It is inflated by a large fan. The air pressure inside holds its shape and gravity (its weight) holds it down! The inside of the dome is made from a material which is designed to be projected on and when you are in total darkness of the planetarium you really feel you are in space.

Can these domes be used outdoors?

All our domes are made for indoor use only; due to their lightweight nature and the fact they are not attached to the floor they could easily blow away with the wind. They can be used outside if sheltered inside a dry, secure marquee with the sides down.

How long can I book the mobile planetarium for?

You can book us for a full day (5 shows).

Unloading and set up of the planetarium takes approximately 60 minutes, with similar time required for pack down and loading. There should not be any other activity in the venue space during set up / pack down.

Each presentation lasts approx. 30 – 45 minutes, depending on your schedule. We will communicate with you in advance to arrange the length and types of the show. The whole experience will include pre-presentation points, entry / exit, and questions.

Do you offer accessible shows?

All our domes are fully wheelchair accessible. Please note however, that whilst our domes are wheelchair accessible, there is limited space in the planetarium. Please see the section 'how many people the domes can accommodate' below for further details.

We aim to make our digital dome experiences as accessible as possible. However, you must let UK Astronomy know in advance if any of the participants have additional needs or require reasonable adjustments. We will do everything we can to accommodate your needs.

How big are the planetarium domes?

We operate two domes. The smallest has a diameter of 5 meters and the largest has a diameter of 6 meters.

What is the minimum age limit of participants?

The minimum age of participants is 6 years old. The planetarium is not suitable for children below this age.

How many people can the domes accommodate?

The 5 meter dome can accommodate up to 30 small children (+2 teachers) or 10 - 15 secondary school students (+1 teacher) or 10 - 15 adults or up to 20 mixed, with a very limited wheelchair capacity.

The 6 meter dome can accommodate up to 45 small children (+3 teachers) or 35 secondary school students (+3 teachers) or 35 adults or 35 mixed or 8 small wheelchair users or 4 large wheelchair users.

Please note that these are the capacities for audience seated on the floor to achieve max capacity. If chairs are required or audiences are lying down, then capacity is greatly reduced.

How much space do the domes require?

The 5 meter dome requires 6 x 6 meters floor space with a 3.5 meter high ceiling. The 6 meter dome requires 7 x 7 meters floor space with a 4 meter high ceiling.

Please make sure you measure the ceiling and consider low hanging lights and / or projectors and not just the height of the ceiling.

How long does it take to set up and take down?

It takes approximately 60 minutes to set up and similar amount of time to take down.

Who are inflatable planetariums for?

They are very popular with schools, youth groups or other groups.

Why are planetariums good for schools?

Mobile planetariums are popular for several reasons:

No Missed Lessons - all other regular classes can be attended as normal.

No Missed Lunches - free meals can be taken at school as normal.

No Stress - pupils remain within the safe and familiar school environment.

No Paperwork - for busy teachers to complete.

Better Quality Teaching - being smaller than fixed planetariums, portable domes are more intimate and in the hands of our skilled volunteers they result in more effective learning / pupil engagement.

Do you provide a risk assessment?

Yes, please feel free to download our Planetarium Risk Assessment.

How do I book?

Booking is easy. First, please register your interest via the contact us form on the contact us page. We will then contact you to discuss availability, suitability and your exact requirements. We will then guide you to our online booking form where you will be able to confirm your details and finalise your booking.

We ask that you verify your available space before contacting us.

Can I get funding to help cover the cost of booking the planetarium?

There are a few places you can approach help finance your UK Astronomy visit

Grants For Schools -
Subscribe to their free monthly e-Newsletter and stay informed about the latest developments relating to Grants4Schools and grant funding. Each Newsletter contains information on some of the latest funding opportunities available to UK based organisations and community groups.

British Science Week Grants Scheme -
Grants up to £300 are available for schools to run an activity during British Science Week.

What is your Cancellation Policy?

30 days notice is required on all cancellations and must be made in writing. A cancellation fee of £100.00 will be charged for any cancellations where 30 days notice has not been given. Cancellations on the day of arrival will be charged 100% of the booking price.

In exceptional circumstances, we reserve the right to cancel on the day for reasons related to the venue. If this happens, we will be unable to offer a refund. Reasons for this might be:

The space where the dome is to be set up is not clean and cannot be cleaned in time. For example, very dirty or wet floor.

The space is not protected from the elements such as wind, rain or strong direct sunlight.

If our staff are refused entry because they do not provide DBS certificates. We will provide DBS certificate numbers but will not provide the actual certificate. This is in order to maintain confidentiality of personal details.

If the venue is unsuitable. For example, you cannot supply the required space or access.

If audience behaviour is inappropriate, your staff do not take responsibility for behaviour, or your staff are not present with the children.

If we have to cancel on the day due to vehicle breakdown or volunteer illness, we will contact you as soon as possible. A full refund will be given if we are unable to reschedule.

If we are unable to attend due to severe weather, we will contact you to identify alternative dates.

If your school is closed due to severe weather, you must contact us.

Documents available on request

General Risk Assessment.

Public Liability.

Fire Certificate.

PAT Certificate.

Safeguarding Policy.


Discover More...

Check out these other areas of our website

Meet the Team
Meet the founders and dedicated team of volunteers that make up our fantastic organisation.

Discover how they got started in astronomy, their passion for the stars and their achievements.
What we do
UK Astronomy provide educational workshops that excite and inspire others to learn about space.

We work with schools, community groups like scouts, guides, rotary groups and WI, other charities, and businesses. We can tailor a workshop session to suit your needs.
How you can support us
As with all charities, we are always in need of help and support. There are many ways that you can help us to ensure we can continue to offer events and to secure the future of our outreach program.