Carr-Fles Planetarium

The planetarium aids in the understanding of astronomy by projecting images of the stars, planets, and constellations on a domed ceiling, and it is the only free, public planetarium in west Michigan. Located in room 1072 of MCC’s main campus building, the planetarium has 44 theater-style seats plus 5 spaces for those who use wheelchairs.

In addition to use for astronomy classes, the planetarium also hosts an average of 5,000 visitors a year. We have two types of shows for visitors:

Public Walk-In Shows

Mystery Of the Christmas Star
“Mystery of the Christmas Star” runs now through Dec 15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pm (except: closed Nov 24 for Thanksgiving).
A holiday favorite returns this year! This 35-minute program investigates possible dates for the sighting of the “star” that declared Jesus’ birth, looks at significant astronomical events visible in the sky at that time, and reviews the signs that led the Wise Men to travel hundreds of miles across the desert. Suitable for ages 8 and up.

  • No reservations needed and no minimum number of people.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7:00pm.
  • Programs run about 30 minutes and will change 4 times in the school year.

Large Group Shows by Appointment

  • Minimum of 15 people. Please schedule at least 2-3 weeks in advance.
  • Showtimes can be reserved Tuesdays 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m., Wednesdays 9:00 a.m., and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. No Mon, Fri, Sat, or Sun shows.
  • We have 44 in theater seats + an additional 5 spaces for those who use wheelchairs. Larger groups can schedule multiple showtimes to accommodate everyone.
  • Click here for a list of programs to choose from.

For more information, contact the planetarium secretary, Tamera Owens, tamera.owens@muskegoncc.edu, (231) 777-0289.

John Bartley Science Museum
Visitors may also want to see our hands-on science museum across the hall from the planetarium. Click here for information about the museum. Plan on an additional 20-30 minutes for the museum.

First opened in 1972, the planetarium was named in named in honor of Dr. Robert Fles, who served on the first Board of Trustees, and MCC instructor Stan Carr, who taught math and astronomy and was instrumental in designing and building the planetarium. In 2012, the successful Reach for the Stars campaign funded a $4 million dollar renovation, including state-of-the-art digital projection, sound, and lighting systems, a new library of shows, and a completely updated theater environment and domed ceiling. MCC is dedicated to increasing access to education and promoting lifelong learning, and we will keep this resource available to all community members without charge.