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Haile Planetarium has record attendance two years in a row


Haile Planetarium

May 30, 2018– Northern Kentucky University’s Haile Planetarium recently celebrated a milestone– attracting more than 12,000 visitors in a single fiscal year. On May 24, the planetarium set a new record with the “One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure” show.

Haile Planetarium also set a record for the number of public show visitors for this fiscal year, passed the 3,000-mark last week. Planetarium Director Christa Speights says the peak attendance is due to offering more Friday night public shows.

“In the past, our biggest problem was that people didn’t know about NKU’s planetarium,” said Speights. “We had many visitors comment that they either didn’t know NKU had a planetarium, or they didn’t know that we have free, public shows. This popularity comes with its own issues, but it’s nice to not have to worry about promoting shows.”

Haile Planetarium has been growing over the last several years. In 2016, the planetarium decided to increase the number of public shows to 11, up from the seven to nine they usually hosted. The planetarium set a record attendance last year with 8,437 visitors, and it broke that record in March. For this season, they scheduled a public show for every Friday from January through June, creating more opportunities for people to visit.  

“These shows were added to Facebook as a single event with multiple dates. The post went viral, and we had to triple the number of shows scheduled to keep up with demand,” said Speights. “The public show attendance for 2017 was 699, and we have reached 2,741 so far for 2018. The Haile Planetarium is no longer a secret in Northern Kentucky.”

There are two shows every Friday night through the end of June at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The earlier show is targeted to families with kids in preschool through early elementary school. Visit the Haile Planetarium’s website for the public show schedule, show descriptions, birthday party information and more.

About Haile Planetarium: Haile Planetarium is an educational facility focused on inspiring appreciation and awareness of the universe in NKU students, faculty, and staff from all over campus, regional P-12 students, and the wider community. Astronomy is our starting point; from there we spread into the wider universe of the sciences and reach into literature, art, music, and beyond. As part of the Physics, Geology and Engineering Technology Department, Haile Planetarium is located on the fourth floor of the Science Center.

About NKU:  Northern Kentucky University is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018! Founded in 1968, we are a growing metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus near Cincinnati. Located in the quiet suburb of Highland Heights, Kentucky—just seven miles southeast of Cincinnati—we have become a leader in Greater Cincinnati and Kentucky by providing a private school education for a fraction of the cost. While we are one of the fastest growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information on our 50th, visit