Highlights include chances to watch cult films at London's only planetarium in our Silver Screen Sci-Fi season: this month’s screening is Galaxy Quest (1999); join the Daytime Sky Watch session to look at Venus through the iconic Great Equatorial Telescope; and last visits to Above and Beyond at the National Maritime Museum, and Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Admission charges apply to planetarium shows, Flamsteed House and Meridian Courtyard, courses and some events – see below for details.

Entry into the Astronomy Centre is free.

Exhibitions and Events

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015

The Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich displays the spectacular winning images from last year’s competition in the Observatory’s Astronomy Centre.

From distant galaxies to our very own Milky Way and neighbouring planets, the entries reflect our enduring fascination with the night sky. Don’t miss out on this last chance to see the images on display which include the winners from the nine main categories, as well as two special prize winners.

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015 is organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Entry to the Astronomy Centre and to the exhibition is free of charge.

Above and Beyond

Produced by Evergreen Exhibitions in association with Boeing, Above and Beyond is a ground-breaking exhibition about the wonders of flight and mankind’s remarkable journey to space. Created in collaboration with NASA, this exhibition hopes to inspire the next wave of engineers, pilots and astronauts by taking visitors on an exciting journey through the past, present and future of aerospace in the most interactive exhibition on the subject ever to tour.

Packed full with immersive simulations, interactive design challenges and visionary concepts for the future, you can learn how to fly like a bird with Spread Your Wings, take an Elevator to Space and enjoy the view of Earth from above, or go on a Marathon to Mars and see how your body would cope on the long-haul trip to the red planet.

Special Events

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Starring Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and the late Alan Rickman, Galaxy Quest is the story of how the cast of a cancelled science-fiction series find themselves thrust into real space battles. Will the actors live up to their roles or are they simply has-beens?

Following the movie there will be a talk from one of our astronomers on the science behind the film. Popcorn, confectionery, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase in the Planetarium foyer before the event.

Date: 20 August 2016 | Venue: Peter Harrison Planetarium, Royal Observatory Greenwich | Time: 18.00–20.15 | Admission: £8 adult, £7 concession, £6 child or guardian | Age: PG

Futures of Yesteryear

It’s the year 2016, but we are still a long way off from jetting to the Moon for a weekend break. Join Royal Observatory Astronomer, Brendan Owens, to find out what happened to the technological predictions of the past: from spacecraft driven by nuclear bombs, to spinning space stations and lunar colonies.

Dates: 11 August 2016 | Times: 19.00–20.00 | Venue: Peter Harrison Planetarium, Royal Observatory Greenwich | Admission: £8 adult, £7 concession | Age: Adult

Daytime Sky Watch: Venus

Take a look at Venus through the iconic Great Equatorial Telescope to find out more about this beautiful planet, and its place in developing our understanding of the scale of the universe.

Please note this event is weather dependent. In the event of cloudy weather, the talk will proceed as normal with unique footage of Venus taken through the telescope shown in place of observing.

Dates: 22, 25–26, 29 August 2016 | Times: 15.50, 16.30, 17.10, 17.50 | Venue: Great Equatorial Building, Royal Observatory Greenwich | Admission: £5.00 per ticket | Age: 7+

Family Events

Weekend Space Cadets

Come along to our programme of weekend family workshops and participate in a varied range of activities related to space science and space exploration; from the International Space Station to the latest discoveries about the Solar System and the wider universe.

Holiday to Space

Pack your bags for space as we fly around the Moon and planets in an early years planetarium show and look out for the animal stories in the sky. Afterwards, enjoy an engaging actor-led performance and a playful hands-on activity.

Date: Every Tuesday throughout August 2016 | Times: 10.00-12.00 | Venue: Astronomy Centre, Royal Observatory Greenwich | Admission: £6: child or guardian | Age: 4+

Out of this World

Join our Astronomers over the holidays for a series of activity packages for older children that include a planetarium show and additional interactive sessions.

Observatory Unlocked

Enjoy a range of public talks and activities delivered by our Observatory Explainers in the Meridian Courtyard, ranging from uncovering the hidden stories of the Royal Observatory Greenwich to solar observing and hands-on science demonstrations. Our Observatory Explainers will be happy to answer any questions you might have between presentations.

Please note: In the event of rain this activity will take place in the Great Equatorial Telescope or the Octagon Room. Please check with a member of staff.

Planetarium Shows

Peter Harrison Planetarium

The Peter Harrison Planetarium, featuring state-of-the-art technology is the only public planetarium in London and is the centrepiece of the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Centre. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

An ‘Astro Ticket’ combining access to the historic Royal Observatory buildings and Meridian Courtyard with a planetarium show is available subject to availability. This offers savings for both individuals and families – contact the bookings team or see the website for further information.

Please note that the Planetarium is closed on the first Tuesday of every month for essential maintenance (except August and during Easter).

Asteroid: Mission Extreme

Join Alien and Ghostbusters' actress, Sigourney Weaver, on an epic journey to discover how asteroids present both a danger to life on Earth and an opportunity for future space exploration. The challenges of a mission to an asteroid are enormous, but could enable us to protect our planet and inhabit others. Explore what it would take for astronauts to reach an asteroid and how such an adventure could benefit humankind.

The Sky Tonight

This live show, presented by a Royal Observatory Astronomer, takes visitors on a tour of what can be seen in the night sky on the day of their visit and the months ahead. The journey takes in stars, constellations, planets and moons, and includes a fly-out to the edge of the visible Universe.

Meet the Neighbours

The Earth travels around the Sun with seven other planets, hundreds of moons and millions of asteroids. Meet our neighbours in space in this entertaining, interactive show where you can decide which planets to visit. Presented live by a Royal Observatory Astronomer.

Space Safari

Follow the adventures of Ted as he searches the Solar System for the great, big bear in the sky, visiting the Sun, the Moon and the Planets. In collaboration with local schools, music and songs have been developed by Trinity College of Music.

Solar System, Galaxy, Universe

This show explores the scale of the Solar System, Galaxy and Universe and how we measure it, investigating the structure of the universe from the smallest planets to the largest galactic superclusters.


Time and Space at the Royal Observatory Astronomy Galleries

Situated in the Astronomy Centre, these three visually striking galleries provide opportunities to explore astronomy and our place in the universe. With amazing hands-on exhibits helping to provide answers to big questions, the galleries discover how astronomers study space and explain recent developments in modern astronomy. Admission: Free

The Gagarin Terrace at the Royal Observatory Greenwich is home to the statue of the celebrated Russian cosmonaut and first man in space, Yuri Gagarin. The statue was originally sited at the Mall in London, please see website for details.

Time Galleries 

Explore the importance of time in all our lives through the interactive exhibits in galleries on ‘Time and Longitude’, ‘Time and Greenwich’, and ‘Time and Society’. Admission charges applies, please see website for details. Admission price includes entry to Flamsteed House, the Meridian Courtyard and the Meridian Building in addition to the Time Galleries.

General Information

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Cutty Sark operate under the banner of Royal Museums Greenwich.

In preparation for the 400th anniversary in 2016 of its commissioning and design, the Queen’s House will be closed until later this year.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich, National Maritime Museum and Cutty Sark are open daily 10.00-17.00 (last admission 16.30). Cutty Sark’s opening times may be subject to change - please see website for details.

Admission to the Astronomy Centre at the Royal Observatory Greenwich is free. Admission to the Royal Observatory’s historic Flamsteed House, Time Galleries, Meridian Courtyard and Meridian Building is charged, please see website for details. An ‘Astro Ticket’ combining access to the historic Royal Observatory buildings and Meridian Courtyard with a Planetarium show is available offering savings for both individuals and families, please see website for details.

General admission to the National Maritime Museum is free. Admissions prices for Cutty Sark, as well as Museum special exhibitions can be found online. For advance bookings and further pricing information please call 020 8312 6608 or email bookings@rmg.co.uk.

For updated information prior to visit please visit our web site or phone 020 8858 4422.


For further information or images please contact: Royal Museums Greenwich Press Office Tel: 020 8312 6789/6545/6790 | 07960 509802 | Email: press@rmg.co.uk | Twitter: @RMGPressOffice