Dates of next MCC Astronomy Nights

  • September 4, 2015 - Stars of the Pharaohs
  • October 2, 2015 - Sky Fall
  • November 6, 2015 - Secrets of the Sun
  • December 4, 2015 - Tour the Universe with Pink Floyd

Mesa Community College invites the public to explore the amazing Universe in our state-of-the-art Planetarium! Our Astronomy Nights are the first Friday of the month during the Spring and Fall semesters. Planetarium shows run from 6:00-10:00 PM, typically every 30 minutes.

Lunar Eclipse Party, Follow OSIRIS-REx, and Rosetta Missions this Fall!

Astronomy Nights at the MCC Planetarium are now back on.

Plot of the last total lunar eclipse of 2015 To celebrate the last lunar eclipse of 2015, we will be hosting an Eclipse Viewing Party on Sunday, September 27th outside the Planetarium at MCC beginning at 6pm and viewing until 9pm.  

The Moon will rise at 6:15pm and will already be in partial eclipse at that time. Gradually, more and more of the Moon surface will be shaded by the Earth's shadow until the Moon is in Total Eclipse at 7:11pm. This lasts until 8:23pm with the maximum eclipse occurring at 7:47pm.

During this period, the Moon will begin to appear red. As the eclipse is a dynamic event, we will continue viewing throughout the event without hosting a Planetarium show. However, we will have telescopes for viewing the surface of the Moon and other bright sky objects.

Astronomers will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate how eclipses work. The next major eclipse event visible from Phoenix is not until August of 2017, so please join us for this fairly rare opportunity!

Origins-Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explor

This fall you can also follow two exciting missions making history!

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is scheduled to launch in 2016 and will analyze and return a sample of asteroid 101955 Bennu to Earth for further study. 

101955 Bennu is a near Earth object. Starting September 2016 up until 2018, OSIRIS-REx will travel closer to Bennu and begin mapping it's surface and ultimately extend a robotic arm to collect samples  that could better explain our solar system's formation and how life began. 

Follow this mission at

The Rosetta spacecraft along with its lander Philae, is analyzing  the comet 67P/C-G in detail. On November 12 2014, Philae was able to successfully land on a comet making it the first successful comet landing.

Rosetta - Rendezuous with a comet The mission continues to send back images and data from both the surface and the orbit of the comet.  This spacecraft marks one of the first attempts to study a comet up close. 

For news and information about this mission, visit the official website at

    Other Information:

    Please note that tickets are first come first serve only to reserve a spot and you could participate in other activities while you wait.

    During Astronomy Nights, we also offer telescope viewing of the Moon, planets, and other celestial sights. Unlike the planetarium shows, telescope viewing will only occur if the skies are clear. The line starts 10 minutes before show time.

    The planetarium is wheelchair accessible.

    Groups of 25 or more are encouraged to click on the "Schedule a Private Visit" button on the left side of this page to schedule a custom show at the Planetarium.

    Astronomy Nights are held at the Physical Science Building (PS 15) just east of Dobson Road, two traffic lights south of Southern Avenue. Please see the map for our location on MCC's Southern & Dobson campus.

    The Planetarium is located on the south side of the Physical Science Building and is labeled with "PLANETARIUM" in large black letters which are visible from Dobson Road and the MCC driveway leading from Dobson Road.

    Free parking is available in the lots south of the Physical Science Building. Please avoid parking in the spaces marked "EMPLOYEES" until after 6:00 PM.