Charles W. Brown Planetarium/Physics & Astronomy

The Charles W. Brown Planetarium offers many opportunities to Ball State students and the community. The planetarium is an immersive theater where state-of-the-art technology transforms the 52-foot dome into a simulation of the night sky as seen from Earth and from space. For example, the audience can “fly” through Saturn’s rings, land on Mars, or travel to distant stars and galaxies. By combining real images from spacecraft and telescopes with advanced computer graphics, the possibilities become almost endless. The planetarium uses a GOTO CHRONOS II Hybrid projector with an RSA Cosmos digital system to display visualizations based on real scientific data.

Programs are open to the public, school groups, and Ball State University students. Over the past year, the Brown Planetarium has hosted over 396 events and has seen over 20,500 guests! Those numbers include 8,037 public group guests, and private events for 8,926 school group guests, 2,320 community group guests, and 1,217 BSU group guests.  We take great pride in offering quality educational and entertaining programs to all visitors at no charge. Whether you give to the planetarium, volunteer your time, or receive a student internship, each and every contribution is essential in the continuation of these great programs. Fund No. 6803


Your gift to the Department of Physics and Astronomy provides financial support for the welfare, support, and advancement of physics and astronomy programs—and has a real impact on the lives of real students. Do you gaze up at the sky and wonder how it all works? Why is the sky blue? What makes up the stars in the night sky? These are questions that physics and astronomy can answer. Physics is the study of everything around us, from the smallest particle in an atom to the ever-expanding universe. It is in the lamp you turn on in the morning, the car you drive, your iPod, and cell phone. Physics is the reason a football soars down the field—and why it falls toward the ground. In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we give students the basic principles on how it all works! Fund No. 6801


“The faculty in the physics and astronomy department were able to provide real world applications that gave me the confidence to be a successful teacher. The one-on-one, approachable faculty treated me the same way I strive to treat my own students. The close-knit community drove each other to become the finest, well-rounded scientists.” -Matt, Bachelor’s degree in Teaching Physics, 2017


“Ball State University was a great undergrad experience for physics. The professors in the department are always so focused on helping us learn throughout each course.
I think the Ball Sate physics program shines specifically in helping us develop problem solving skills, something that is way more important than reproducing notes for a test. I know I was trained well enough to be able to work through any problem that will show up in research, school, and eventually a career.” -Mason, Bachelor’s degree in Physics, 2017


“Upon arriving at Ball State, I was welcomed into the physics major by the department with a family-oriented feel in addition to a well-rounded curriculum. Not only do the faculty there want you to succeed, but they will also challenge you and enable you to perform at your best. What I enjoyed the most about studying physics at Ball State was the diverse range of research projects that could prepare me for life after graduation. Since my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees included valuable preparation, I felt implored to continue my education by starting a PhD physics program. Now, I’ll be starting my PhD at the University of California, Merced, knowing that a very bright future is ahead of me.” -Albert, Bachelor’s degree in Physics, 2015; Master’s degree in Physics, 2017



Early Bird Challenge
Congratulations to Associate Professor, Elizabeth Agnew, for winning $2,000 to donate to Religious Studies!
1 / 1 Gifts
1,918th Gift
The 1,918th gift will unlock $20,000 for student scholarships!
1,918 / 1,918 Gifts
Ball State Unit or Org with the Most Gifts
The Ball State unit/org with the most gifts on April 9 will receive an additional $6,000 for their department/org 2nd place = $3,000 3rd place = $1,500
Rank Prize Department Gifts
1 $6,000 Theatre & Dance 747
2 $3,000 Athletics 623
3 $1,500 Ball State's Greatest Needs 168
4 Greek Life 119
5 Student Scholarships 88
Amount Raised Leaderboard
Which area will raise the most on One Ball State Day? Make a gift to your favorite area of the University to help keep them flying high at the top of the leaderboard!
Rank Campus unit/fund Raised
1 Athletics $66,023.77
2 Theatre & Dance $19,328.27
3 Ball State's Greatest Needs $16,322.32
4 Charles W. Brown Planetarium/Physics & Astronomy $11,680.00
5 Teachers College $10,963.32
1,000 Gifts
1,000 gifts will unlock a gift of $1,000 from ’06 grad, Scott Wenclewicz.
1,000 / 1,000 Gifts
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Ball State's Greatest Needs Student Scholarships Athletics College of Architecture & Planning College of Communication, Information, and Media College of Fine Arts College of Health College of Sciences & Humanities Honors College Miller College of Business Teachers College Accounting Alumni Association Anthropology Architecture Army ROTC Ball State Student Media Beta Phi Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Biology Black Alumni Constituent Society Black Student Association Bowen Center for Public Affairs Burris Laboratory School Cardinal Kitchen Career Center Center for Information & Communication Sciences Charles W. Brown Planetarium/Physics & Astronomy Chemistry Communication Studies Computer Science Construction Management Counseling Center Counseling Psychology | Social Psych & Counseling Criminal Justice & Criminology David Owsley Museum of Art Department of Marketing | CADMA Disability Services Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies Economics Educational Leadership Educational Psychology & D.E.S.K. Elementary Education Emens Auditorium English Entrepreneurship Center Finance & Insurance Geography Geological Sciences Graduate School Greek Life History Indiana Academy ISOM Journalism Landscape Architecture Logistics & Supply Chain Management Center Management Mathematical Sciences MBA | Master of Business Administration Miller Business Honors Program Modern Languages & Classics Natural Resources & Environmental Management NESTT Learning Labs Nutrition & Health Science Parents Fund Philosophy & Religious Studies Political Science Pride of Mid-America Marching Band Psychological Science Rinard Orchid Greenhouse Rinker Center for International Programs School of Art School of Kinesiology School of Music School of Nursing Schools Within the Context of Community Social Work Sociology Special Education Spectrum Speech Pathology & Audiology Sports Link Student Affairs Student Life Student Voluntary Services Telecommunications Theatre & Dance University Libraries University Police Department University Singers Urban Planning Women of the Ball Family Fund Women's & Gender Studies