John C. Wells Planetarium

Contact Information

Shanil Virani

Contact Details


The John C. Wells Planetarium at JMU is a $2 million, state-of-the-art, hybrid facility. It hosts both an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5, a ultra-high resolution digital projection system, and a Goto Chronos opto-mechanical star projector that provides visitors with a superior and realistic night sky. The digital system allows presentations of unique full dome movies as well as projections of the multi-wavelength universe on the dome. The Goto Chronos starball allows projections of an authentic night sky for any location on the Earth’s surface. Arguably JMU's flagship community outreach program, the Planetarium welcomes more than 25,000 people every year.

Web Presence


Involves Faculty, Involves Staff, Involves Students, Involves Participants External to JMU


2008 - Planetarium facility newly renovated


Ongoing (Currently in existence, year round)

Benefits for Faculty, Students, Community, and Institution

JMU students run the Saturday programs at the Planetarium and are involved in giving public scientific presentations. Students get practical experience running a $2 million, state-of-the-art planetarium.

Areas of Engagement

Community Engagement, Engaged Learning


Department or Center

On/Off campus

On campus

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