About Us

Our History

UA Science: Flandrau got its start with a 1972 bequest from the estate of Grace H. Flandrau, noted author and frequent winter visitor to Tucson. The University decided to use the generous gift to fund a facility that would increase public understanding and appreciation of science.

Originally known as The Grace H. Flandrau Planetarium, the facility was part of the UA Department of Astronomy. Its location on campus, near the Astronomy Department, Optical Sciences Center, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and historic Steward Observatory, reflects its continuing connections to the research community.

The Planetarium was designed by Tucson architectural firm Blanton and Company and opened its door to the public in 1975.

Our Vision

UA Science: Flandrau brings together the University of Arizona and regional communities to inspire the teaching and learning of science and technology, create pathways to lifelong learning, and promote the area’s social, economic and environmental sustainability.


This is an exciting time for the UA College of Science. Over the past few months, we have worked to bring together a diverse group of outreach activities and programs under one umbrella: UA Science Connections. You are probably already familiar with some of our outstanding public facilities such as Flandrau, Biosphere 2, Mt. Lemmon Sky Center, Tumamoc Desert Laboratory, the UA Mirror Lab, and the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, all of which are now under the direction of the College of Science.

There is a long history of successful UA Science outreach programs over the years. However, we can now offer formal and informal educators a centralized, cohesive and expanded menu of learning opportunities in the classroom, on campus and in the community.

We invite you to delve into and make use of the many resources and opportunities available today, and new resources to come, as we continue to grow and expand. Together we can enrich learning for today’s students and tomorrow’s scientists.

I wish you all the best,

Dr. Elliott Cheu
Associate Dean
College of Science
The University of Arizona


There’s no better place on Earth to learn more about the Universe than UA Science: Flandrau. Combine the clear, dark skies over Tucson with the university’s unparalleled expertise in optical sciences and planetary exploration, and you’re in stargazer’s heaven to figure out the price of copper.

Whether you’re just starting your space explorations or are an old pro at scanning the skies, Flandrau can help you get the most out of your experience. Check out our Skywatchers’ Guides and Observatory News for monthly highlights in the night sky. Or, book a Star Party for a special night of astronomy in your own backyard.

At Flandrau, you can come for one of our free viewings through the 16-inch telescope in our Observatory.

Sign up for volunteer opportunities using our volunteer form.

Skywatchers’ Guide

Saturn, in the eastern evening sky, is still conveniently high up in the sky for evening telescopic viewing at dusk. Jupiter and Mars are still easily visible above the eastern horizon this month, 45 minutes before sunrise but Venus is lost from view sometime mid to late in the month. The bright summer Milky Way is best visible on Moonless mornings in the late night hours. Because of the 2nd new Moon this month on July 30, dark skies will allow for viewing of the faint Delta Aquarid meteor shower. The Earth is farthest from the Sun on July 4th, at an aphelion distance of some 94,512,000 miles (ironically at the hottest time of the year for much of the northern hemisphere).

Saturn, in the eastern evening sky, is conveniently high up for evening telescopic viewing at dusk. Last month’s four planet grouping at dawn is mostly over (Mercury is visible very low early in the month) but Jupiter, Venus and Mars are still easily visible above the eastern horizon much of the month, 45 minutes

Group Reservations

The UA Science: Flandrau planetarium is available by reservation on weekdays for groups of 20 or more. It’s your chance to bring your school, youth group, camp, or community group for a complete, interactive science experience! Contact us for pricing and reservations for group visits for adults.

What you get:


Mineral Museum Group Reservation

Add the UA Mineral Museum to your group reservation, and take a private tour through our amazing collection and special Bisbee exhibit, “Treasures of the Queen.”

What you get:


Schedule Your Visit Now!

  1. Select an available date from the calendar below (at least 14 days in advance).

  2. Tell us how many are in your group (we require one free adult chaperone for every 10 children) and select a 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., or 12:30 p.m. reservation.

  3. Add a Mineral Museum program or additional adult chaperones, if you’d like.

  4. Complete the customer and payment information (we require a 50% deposit to confirm reservations) through our secure system. Speed up your confirmation by using a credit card or P.O. number. (Note: We can not confirm reservations until receiving the deposit)

E-mail us or call us at (520) 621-4516 with questions or to request an earlier reservation than 2 weeks in advance.

Planetarium Shows

Legends of the Night Sky

Learn the stories behind the constellations with our fun and animated “Legends of the Night Sky” show. Tucson Sky Tonight What can you see when you look up in the sky tonight? A planet, a constellation, a galaxy, or maybe a nebula where stars are being born? Explore the wonders of Arizona’s beautiful night sky as we show you what you can see with your unaided eyes, give you a deeper look through stunning telescope and spacecraft imagery, and answer your questions.

Touring the Planets

Take a journey through our solar system, learning about the planets and viewing spectacular photos and videos — including 3D images of the sun, moon, Saturn and Mars. Find out what we’ve learned about Mars from the UA-led Phoenix Mission, and ask your questions. Visitors of all ages will enjoy this tour around our galactic neighborhood.