Idaho News

What are the best places for a visit to an observatory or planetarium in Idaho?

Stargazing in Idaho: Top Observatories and Planetariums to Explore the Cosmos

Idaho, known for its rugged landscapes and clear skies, offers some of the best places for astronomy enthusiasts to gaze at the stars. Among the state’s prime locations for celestial observation are the Bruneau Dunes Observatory and the Faulkner Planetarium.

Bruneau Dunes Observatory: A Star-Gazer’s Haven

The Bruneau Dunes Observatory, nestled within the Bruneau Dunes State Park, is renowned for its public viewing nights. Visitors can peer through the observatory’s collection of telescopes to observe distant galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. The park’s remote location minimizes light pollution, making it an ideal spot for an unobstructed view of the night sky.

Faulkner Planetarium: A Journey Through the Cosmos

The Faulkner Planetarium, located at the Herrett Center for Arts and Science in Twin Falls, is the largest planetarium in the state. It offers a state-of-the-art digital projection system that brings the universe to life with stunning visuals and educational programs. Visitors can embark on a virtual journey through space, exploring the latest discoveries in astronomy.


Q: What is an observatory?
A: An observatory is a facility equipped with telescopes and other instruments for observing celestial events.

Q: What is a planetarium?
A: A planetarium is a theater built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky.

Q: Are these facilities suitable for all ages?
A: Yes, both the Bruneau Dunes Observatory and the Faulkner Planetarium offer programs and experiences that cater to all age groups.

Q: Do I need to make reservations to visit?
A: It’s recommended to check with each facility regarding their public viewing schedules and whether reservations or tickets are required.

Idaho’s observatories and planetariums are not just about stargazing; they’re gateways to understanding the universe. Whether you’re an amateur astronomer or simply curious about the night sky, these destinations promise an enlightening experience under the stars.