The Hayden Planetarium is a public planetarium, part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, currently directed by astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Since February 2000, the planetarium has been one of the two main attractions within the Rose Center. The top half of the Hayden Sphere houses the Star Theater, which uses high-resolution fulldome video to project “space shows” based in scientific visualization of current astrophysical data, in addition to a customized Zeiss Star Projector system replicating an accurate night sky as seen from Earth. The bottom half of the Sphere is home to the Big Bang Theater, which depicts the birth of the universe in a four-minute program. As visitors leave the Planetarium theater, they exit to the Size Scales of the Universe exhibit which shows the vast array of sizes in the universe; the walkway itself is a timeline of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present. This exhibit leads to the Big Bang Theater and exits to the Cosmic Pathway, which shows the history of the universe. From the bottom of the Cosmic Pathway, visitors can stop by the Hall of Planet Earth to explore geology, weather, plate tectonics and more, or go down to the Hall of the Universe to explore the realms of planets, stars, galaxies and more.
The Hayden Planetarium offers a number of courses and public presentations including the Frontiers of Astrophysics and Distinguished Authors lecture series.
When the Hayden Planetarium reopened after renovation in 2000 with a model of only eight planets, excluding what was then called planet Pluto, it resulted in a headline-making controversy.