Neighbourhood Earth (live, giant planetarium only)

Neighbourhood Earth (live, giant planetarium only)

Live, presenter-led show, 40min + Q&A, yr7 (giant on-site planetarium only)

An interactive show with fulldome film sequences and stage demos, presented from the stage at the front. 

IMPORTANT NEWS! Neighbourhood Earth is now available for yr7 bookings until July 2017 only, due to new shows having been developed for KS1-2.

A new show, Discovering the Universe, is available in the on-site planetarium for dates from July 2017. Before this date, if wanting a visually spectacular show for KS3 then you may wish to consider booking Alien Worlds (day/night, seasons, solar system (Europa, Titan, Mars explorer), exoplanets, galaxy), The Planet Show (planets!) or Flight Through the Universe (inspirational, from night sky to whole universe).


Little Stars - for Early Years, very interactive age-appropriate show. All ages in the mobile planetarium, but Reception only in the on-site planetarium as the seating is not appropriate for groups of younger children.

Look Up! - for KS1, looking up at the night sky to see what we can discover.

The Solar System and Beyond - for KS2, covering classroom concepts in an inspirational way.

Discovering the Universe - for KS3, available in the on-site planetarium from July 2017, and the mobile planetarium from Sept 2017.


Neighbourhood Earth considers the Earth, Sun and Moon before turning to our view of the night sky and (for KS2+) considering our place in the Universe. The KS2+ version contains a loud, unexpected bang: please ask if you would like to be warned when this will occur so that a child can cover their ears or briefly leave the planetarium. This show does not spend long on the planets.

This show is not available in the mobile planetarium due to differences in the technologies used.

For yr8+, Alien Worlds is a more age-appropriate show to cover the foundations of astronomy.

"The planetarium show was perfect. It was ideal for our age group, brilliantly interactive and the presenter was clear and warm with all the children. They came out buzzing!"

"The planetarium session was amazing - what a talented young lady. Our children were enthralled - even those who can sometimes be little pickles!"

For KS1-2, we recommend Neighbourhood Earth which gives an excellent foundation of understanding about our place in the Universe. Having a live presenter who controls the visuals and interacts with the children from the stage allows the show to be tailored to the ability of the children. Pre/post-visit KS2 resources are available for free download.

The KS2 Neighbourhood Earth show contains the following sections:

  • Earth: our home, our changing view of space (rotation/orbit using volunteers)
  •  Sun: the Sun as a giant explosion and light source (KS3+: nuclear fusion)
  •  Moon: surface features, not a light source, why we see phases
  •  Orientation: finding the plough, North Star, how the stars seem to move
  •  Constellations: seasonal constellation(s), mythology
  •  Planets: a brief look at any planets visible tonight, then all 8 orbiting the Sun
  •  Dark skies: stars are different (Sun as a star), supernovae, nebulae
  •  Galaxies: the Milky Way as a galaxy, there are lots of galaxies, galaxy distribution
  •  Earth: sense of scale. Final attempt to inspire people to look up into the sky!

The KS1 Neighbourhood Earth show: 

The KS1 show includes an extra stage demo about light sources and reflection and is presented in an age-appropriate manner, avoiding complex concepts and introducing them gently to the unusual environment in the dome. The final sections about supernovae (with the loud bang) and galaxies are not included in this version of the show.


What teachers and pupils say about the show:

Pupils from Hook-with-Warsash Primary School:

"I learnt that the stars and sky are so amazing and that it's worth looking out of your window at night"
"I want to visit again because it looked like that we were going into space!"
"My favourite part in the show was the gigantic explosion of the star because it made me jump and it was a fantastic moment"
"We learnt a lot but we think the most interesting thing was when you said how big the stars were"

Teacher comments (various schools) about Neighbourhood Earth:

"Planetarium talk absolutely superb. Perfect" (KS2 feedback form)
"All children thought planetarium excellent" (KS2 feedback form)
"Planetarium very knowledgeable & answered questions well" (KS3 feedback form)

"Planetarium was excellent, level just right" (KS3 feedback form)
"The planetarium produced oohs and aahs from the pupils - always a good sign for the modern generation of learners and the speaker held them for the whole session pitching the presentation at exactly the right level" (KS3 unsolicited feedback)The show has relevance to the following sections of the science curriculum:

• KS1
Sc4 Light and Sound 
3a To identify different light sources, including the Sun

• KS2
Sc4 The Earth and beyond
4a That the Sun, Earth and Moon are approximately spherical
4b How the position of the Sun appears to change during the day
4c How day and night are related to the spin of the Earth on its own axis
4d That the Earth orbits the Sun once each year, and that the Moon takes approximately 28 days to orbit the Earth

• KS3
Sc4 The Earth and beyond
4a How the movement of the Earth causes the apparent daily and annual movement of the Sun and other stars
4b The relative positions of the Earth, Sun and planets in the solar system
4c About the movements of planets around the Sun and to relate these to gravitational forces
4d That the sun and other stars are a light source and that the planets and other bodies are seen by reflected light
4e About the use of artificial satellites and probes to observe the Earth and to explore the solar system

• KS4
Sc4 The Earth and beyond
3a The relative positions and sizes of planets, stars and other bodies in the universe. (comets, meteors, galaxies and black holes) [note that the show does not normally include comets/meteors/black holes although these can be discussed in the Q&A session]
3b How gravity acts as a force throughout the universe
3c How stars evolve over a long timescale
3d About some ideas used to explain the origin and evolution of the universe