Planetarium - inside the theater

The William M Thomas Planetarium has a Chronos star projector from GOTO and a SciDome all-dome video system from Spitz installed under a Spitz premium-seam 36-foot dome. Individual seating for 72 people all facing toward the same direction under the largest dome (36-foot diameter) in all of the Central Valley.

Planetarium History

Opened in the fall of 1962 (and formally dedicated in early January 1963 with the name "Bakersfield College Planetarium"), the William M Thomas Planetarium in Math-Science 112 has provided shows for over 4,500 K-12 students per year. The B.C. astronomy and physical science classes also use the planetarium at selected times during the semester. The upgraded planetarium was named after Rep. Bill Thomas and was dedicated on November 2, 2006. Congressman Thomas directed the $1 million in federal funds needed to move the planetarium into the 21st century.
Get a closer look at the night skies over Bakersfield throughout the years. Has a special page about observing the April 8, 2024 eclipse!
Learn about the wonders of meteors, looking at the sun safely, and more.
Plan a field trip for your school to visit BC's Planetarium.
Detailed information important for all planetarians.
View a list of all of the shows that can be found at the planetarium.

Viewing the Great North American Eclipse of April 8, 2024