Chabot Space & Science Center is a hands-on science museum with exhibits, planetarium shows, and educational programs. Located in Oakland, CA area., this center has been entertaining people of all ages since 1968. Here is everything you need to know about this place:


The center was started in 1883 by Edwin L. Drake as a public telescope and science-learning place that focused on the movement of planets, stars, suns, and other celestial objects. In 1968 it moved to its current location (which is also where Oakland’s first observatory once stood) and became Chabot Space & Science Center. This place was originally created to offer science education opportunities for students that were too remote or expensive for them to attend.

Chabot Space & Science Center opened its doors in October 1969 with Astro-Venture, an exhibit of space flight hardware and astronaut training simulators (like the Apollo Simulator). This became a popular attraction at the center which eventually lead Chabot to become home to one of only three planetarium domes on this side of the country. The original star projector is still used today; it’s called “The Zeiss Projector”. It projects more than 2000 stars onto Chabot’s 52-foot dome! Now there are over 12 exhibits focusing on astronomy like Black Holes: Gravity Well, Dark Matter/Dark Energy, and the North Pole Star.

Chabot Space & Science Center regularly offers special events and programs that cover astronomy, physical science, earth science and technology.

Things to do

Throughout the year Chabot Space & Science Center offers a variety of week-long and weekend classes for kids, teens, and adults. These programs are both educational and entertaining with planetarium shows, demonstrations by scientists from NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View…and more!

The observatory is open to anyone who holds an interest in astronomy or just wants to have clear views of space. There are several telescopes that will allow you to view different galaxies through their lens. In addition to this, there is also a sky tour which tells you about all the constellations found above us each season as well as facts on planets visible during certain times of the year. The Observatory opens at night but hours depend on specific seasons so be sure to check the schedule before you go.

What Makes it Unique?

Chabot Space & Science Center is located in the Oakland Hills which means there are great views of San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and beyond.

Chabot has one of only three domed planetariums on this side of the country as well as a Zeiss Mark IX-Star Projector that was purchased from Germany to be used here. In addition to all these things, if you have any interest at all in astronomy or space science…you need to visit Chabot’s Observatory! This place offers so many wonderful opportunities for education and entertainment.

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