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Resources for Portable Planetariums
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Mobile domes are an important part of planetarium outreach and serve countless people who otherwise would never experience astronomy and the stars under the magic of the dome.

Resources here have been gathered by the Portable Planetarium Committee. Susan Reynolds Button, committee chair, also is the long-time writer of Mobile News, which appears in each edition of Planetarian.

Ideas for Keeping the Momentum of Your Program & Reopening Strategies

All planetariums have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This document has some ideas for survival and recovery.
Download as:
pdf icon .pdf  or  .docx icon .docx

From Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.

From Professor Patricia Reiff:

A business model from Costa Rica

Planetario AventuraMarco Avalos shares how he operates his successful Planetario Aventura in Costa Rica.

Do-It-Yourself Portables

Lhoumeau Logo

The Lhoumeau Sky-System is a concept of a planetarium projector that can be made at low cost for small and medium planetariums. All instructions are shared under a Creative Commons license.

Cover of The University of Washington Mobile Planetarium guide

The University of Washington's Astronomy Department (Seattle, Washington), based on experience in establishing its own mobile planetarium outreach, has published a Do-It-Yourself guide to making making your own.

Download by clicking the picture of the cover, or follow this link to arXiv at Cornell University.

Cover of DIY Planetarium guide

DIY Planetarium

A dome-building guide from Adam Goss in Broomfield, Colorado. Click on the picture of the cover to download the pdf document.

Also check out his website at

Cardboard Dome from Fred KreigerAstronomy For Thinkers

A site designed by a science teacher on the elementary and junior high level, this newly-redesigned site by John Krieger has been updated and re-titled Astronomy For Thinkers.

Although aimed primarily for science educations and home school teachers, the site also is open to anyone interested in astronomy and sharing the beauty of the sky.

In the articles section you'll find a number of downloadable materials, and also A Digital Home Planetarium: How to make a home planetarium using cardboard, a mirror, and a digital projector.


The StarLab system was one of the first portable dome systems, and has released all of its cylinder manuals and curriculum free to the public.

As a bonus, you can download grade-specific charts that correlate the cylinders to the U.S. National Science Standars.

You can download the cylinder manuals here, and can access the classic StarLab curriculum here

About Portable Planetarium Systems

The IPS Portable Planetarium Handbook
2002, Edited by Susan Button
Portable Planetarium Projection Systems
April 2010
 pdfIcon  docIcon
Portable Planetarium Domes
May 2011
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Mobile Domes in Business: Best Practices  pdfIcon  
What Projector Should I Purchase?  pdfIcon  docIcon

IPS Affiliates: Portable Planetarium Contacts - Find assistance in your own country

A portable dome in Japan--Kindergarten students

Kindergarten students in Japan wait to visit a portable dome; photo provided by Hiroshi Futami.


Chuck Bueter of Indiana sets up a portable dome in a greenhouse.


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