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Charles W. Brown Planetarium

Enjoy "A History of Planetariums" by the American Museum of Natural History, and learn about planetariums and their impact on society.



A Message To Our Community Regarding COVID-19 from the Brown Planetarium Staff…


We understand the many concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) across our communities and recognize that these are hard times for many. As we monitor the situation closely, we endeavor to do our part in what is best for the safety and wellbeing of our community. Although we are closed to the public until further notice, our staff and students are working hard to bring you astronomy news and education through our Facebook page. We are also working on creating new planetarium programs and experiences to have ready for you when we are open again.


There is no doubt that these are unprecedented times, but we Cardinals can rise together and we will come out stronger. We are so very thankful to those who are able to help us at this time.


Please stay safe and well – we hope to see you soon.




We invite you...

Be a part of One Ball State Day on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, a 24-hour fundraising and engagement effort where you can give to the Brown Planetarium at Ball State!


We hope that you join all of us at the Brown Planetarium in our mission to encourage scientific literacy and advancement through inspiring educational programming, innovative research, and service to our community. 


Can't wait to give? Give today.



Together, we can make an impact...

Your contribution to the planetarium directly impacts Ball State students and the Muncie community by supporting and advancing our free programs and outreach events. Open for free educational public programs and group tours, our Brown Planetarium reflects Ball State University’s commitment to service through educational engagement with our community.


Your contribution...

  • helps fund student staff!

  • helps expand our outreach events with new technologies and programs!

  • helps expand our hands-on, minds-on, and hearts-on activity stations! 

  • helps the Brown Planetarium continue to encourage scientific literacy and advancement through inspiring educational programming, innovative research, and service to our community.


Ball State students contribute to every planetarium event...


Did you know that the Brown Planetarium is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Ball State? Students from our department work in the planetarium and share their knowledge and passion for the universe with visitors.


One of our students, Melanie Isenbarger, has been working in the planetarium since Spring 2018 and says: "I fell in love with astronomy after I took an astronomy class in high school. We had the privilege of meeting in the planetarium next door for class and it was then that I decided that I would continue to study astronomy. After learning about the Brown Planetarium here at Ball State, I knew I wanted to be a part of the team and I couldn't be more excited to do so! I hope to help feed people's curiosity about space and encourage more girls to follow that into STEM careers!"


Who visits...

Over 22,000 people enjoy the planetarium each year and we see over 9,000 school kids! All planetarium events are free and open to the public.


Our namesake...

Charles W. Brown (second from the left, back row) and his family.


The Charles W. Brown Planetarium is named for businessman and philanthropist Charlie Brown, BA '71, whose passion for science was rekindled by the planetarium project. Mr. Brown and his wife, Dr. Louise Tetrick, hope the planetarium provides an incredible resource for the community, especially youth, as well as university students. Their goal is to make a difference in kids’ lives, as they believe that is where we can all be the most impactful. 


We are continuously inspired and humbled by those who continue to give to the planetarium, including Nancy Watson who gifted us the James and Nancy Watson Planetarium Science Education Fund




We invite you to join those who have given to the planetarium to help us expand our reach and impact to Ball State and beyond!





Unlock $1,000 for Take Flight!
Cardinals help Cardinals, and 500 gifts by noon unlocks $1,000 for the Take Flight fund.
500 / 500 Gifts
College Leaderboard
The college with the most gifts by midnight will receive $2,000 to support students' greatest needs!
Rank Prize Department Gifts
1 $2,000 College of Fine Arts 1,749
2 $1,000 College of Communication, Information, and Media 839
3 $500 College of Sciences and Humanities 396
4 Teachers College 336
5 Miller College of Business 237
6 College of Health 226
7 College of Architecture & Planning 62
8 Honors College 54
Evening Leaderboard
The needs of our students are greater than ever. The eight areas with the most donors between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. will each receive $1,000 thanks to challenge dollars given by donors.
Rank Prize Department Donors
1 $1,000 Theatre & Dance 160
2 $1,000 Ball State Student Media 65
3 $1,000 Athletics 59
4 $1,000 Journalism 34
5 $1,000 Dance Marathon 34
6 $1,000 Communication Studies 29
7 $1,000 School of Music 27
8 $1,000 Special Education 26
9 Multicultural Center 24
10 Social Work 16
11 Chemistry 10
12 Telecommunications 9
13 Alumni Programs 8
14 University Police Department 7
15 Miller Business Honors Program 7
16 University Libraries 7
17 Counseling Psych, Social Psych and Counseling 6
18 Honors College 5
19 Accounting 5
20 Fraternity and Sorority Life 5
21 Schools Within the Context of Community 5
22 Sports Link 5
23 Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies 4
24 Educational Psychology 4
25 Cardinal Kitchen 3
26 David Owsley Museum of Art 3
27 Political Science 3
28 Alumni Student Engagement 3
29 Bowen Center for Public Affairs 3
30 Alumni Scholarships 3
31 Management 3
32 Biology 3
33 Burris Laboratory School 3
34 Black Student Association 3
35 Student Voluntary Services 3
36 Late Nite 3
37 English 3
38 Office of Student Life 2
39 Elementary Education 2
40 Center for Information & Communication Sciences 2
41 Educational Studies 2
42 Career Center 2
43 Rinker Center for International Programs 2
44 History 2
45 Computer Science 2
46 Entrepreneurship Center 2
47 School of Kinesiology 1
48 School of Nursing 1
49 Mathematical Sciences 1
50 Sociology 1
51 Ball State Army ROTC 1
52 Spectrum 1
53 Anthropology 1
54 Inclusive Excellence 1
55 Educational Leadership 1
56 Indiana Academy 1
57 School of Art 1
58 Women's and Gender Studies 1
59 Rinard Orchid Greenhouse 1
60 Disability Services 1
61 University Program Board 1
62 Teachers College Dean's Fund for Excellence 1
63 Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources 1
64 Criminal Justice and Criminology 1
65 MBA | Masters of Business Administration 1
66 Online Student Support Fund 1
67 Finance & Insurance 0
68 Learning Center 0
69 Charles W. Brown Planetarium 0
70 Emens Auditorium 0
71 Graduate School 0
72 Nutrition & Health Science 0
73 Speech Pathology & Audiology 0
74 Geography 0
75 Philosophy and Religious Studies 0
76 Psychological Science 0
77 Economics 0
78 ISOM Department 0
79 Marketing | CADMA 0
80 Community Engagement 0
81 Counseling Center 0
82 Center for Peace & Conflict Studies 0
83 Oz Nelson Logistics & Supply Chain Management Ctr 0
84 NESTT Learning Labs 0
College of Sciences & Humanities Department Challenge
Dean Maureen McCarthy will give $500 to the CSH department with the most donors.
Rank Prize Department Donors
1 $500 Chemistry 34
2 Political Science 23
3 Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources 23
4 English 22
5 Sociology 21
6 Mathematical Sciences 17
7 History 17
8 Criminal Justice and Criminology 14
9 Anthropology 14
10 Biology 13
11 Computer Science 13
12 Geography 12
13 Psychological Science 9
14 Rinard Orchid Greenhouse 7
15 Women's and Gender Studies 7
16 Philosophy and Religious Studies 6
17 Bowen Center for Public Affairs 5
18 Charles W. Brown Planetarium 5
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Or you can contact us at foundation@bsu.edu.