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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 163
2 $1,000 Ball State Student Media 73
3 $1,000 Athletics 61
4 $1,000 Journalism 39
5 $1,000 Dance Marathon 38
6 $1,000 Communication Studies 33
7 $1,000 School of Music 30
8 $1,000 Multicultural Center 27
9 Special Education 26
10 Social Work 16
11 University Police Department 12
12 Telecommunications 12
13 Chemistry 12
14 Cardinal Kitchen 9
15 Honors College 9
16 Fraternity and Sorority Life 9
17 Alumni Programs 8
18 Accounting 8
19 University Libraries 8
20 Alumni Student Engagement 7
21 Miller Business Honors Program 7
22 Counseling Psych, Social Psych and Counseling 6
23 Political Science 5
24 Schools Within the Context of Community 5
25 Early Childhood, Youth, and Family Studies 5
26 Sports Link 5
27 Educational Psychology 5
28 Alumni Scholarships 4
29 Management 4
30 Burris Laboratory School 4
31 Black Student Association 4
32 English 4
33 Office of Student Life 3
34 David Owsley Museum of Art 3
35 Bowen Center for Public Affairs 3
36 Elementary Education 3
37 Center for Information & Communication Sciences 3
38 Biology 3
39 Spectrum 3
40 Student Voluntary Services 3
41 Late Nite 3
42 Women's and Gender Studies 3
43 Educational Studies 2
44 Career Center 2
45 Sociology 2
46 Ball State Army ROTC 2
47 Inclusive Excellence 2
48 Rinker Center for International Programs 2
49 Learning Center 2
50 History 2
51 Indiana Academy 2
52 School of Art 2
53 Computer Science 2
54 Disability Services 2
55 University Program Board 2
56 Entrepreneurship Center 2
57 School of Kinesiology 1
58 School of Nursing 1
59 Mathematical Sciences 1
60 Finance & Insurance 1
61 Anthropology 1
62 Educational Leadership 1
63 Rinard Orchid Greenhouse 1
64 Charles W. Brown Planetarium 1
65 Teachers College Dean's Fund for Excellence 1
66 Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources 1
67 Criminal Justice and Criminology 1
68 MBA | Masters of Business Administration 1
69 Online Student Support Fund 1
70 Emens Auditorium 1
71 Graduate School 1
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 35
2 Political Science 27
3 Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources 26
4 English 26
5 Sociology 22
6 Mathematical Sciences 19
7 History 17
8 Criminal Justice and Criminology 15
9 Biology 14
10 Anthropology 14
11 Computer Science 13
12 Geography 12
13 Women's and Gender Studies 12
14 Rinard Orchid Greenhouse 11
15 Psychological Science 10
16 Philosophy and Religious Studies 9
17 Bowen Center for Public Affairs 8
18 Charles W. Brown Planetarium 5
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Or you can contact us at foundation@bsu.edu.