The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium will be presenting our exciting, family-friendly public shows on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, Thursday and Friday evenings, and one Saturday afternoon each month. Visit the ‘Now Playing’ page of this website for info about the public shows currently scheduled and the times that they are offered. Watch fascinating previews of these shows on the ‘All Shows’ page of this website.

Come enjoy fascinating public shows not only about astronomy and science, but also on a wide variety of topics like dinosaurs, humpback whales, extreme weather, and many others to expand your mind and fire your imagination. Tickets can be purchased at our ticket booth on the west end of Lamar Bruni Vergara Science building near the glass pyramid.

The planetarium has a state-of-the-art projection system that projects a video image on our whole dome immersing the audience in the scene like virtual reality. We invite you to come and treat yourself to a fun and spectacular surround experience.

Make a reservation for one of our thrilling and engaging shows for all ages for your private or business group. Fun hands-on activity sessions available for school groups extend and apply concepts learned during our shows. Want to plan an amazing, kid-pleasing, out-of-this-world Birthday Party? Simply schedule a Birthday show with snacks and drinks included at special pricing for your large or small party. See our Group Visits webpage for details and click on the Reservation Form link to request a group show. Monitor our website and our Facebook page for the latest information on the public shows offered and the dates and times.

Visit the ‘On-Demand’ page of our website and take a virtual guided tour of constellations, planets, and other magnificent objects in the current sky. You can also request an emailed link to view a currently posted full-length free planetarium show and watch fascinating virtual presentations about astronomy and other topics of interest at your convenience. We look forward to welcoming you to the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium soon.
- Planetarium Director


Get Ready for the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse at TAMIU
on Friday, April 5th at 7:30 p.m.

Solar Eclipse Corona1

Photo caption: The Sun during a total eclipse shows its outer atmosphere, which is called the corona. Photo credit: Kevin Milani.

Don’t miss the only total solar eclipse in South Texas for the next 54 years! “The exciting total solar eclipse that will be visible in Eagle Pass and other cities west and north of us like Uvalde, Texas, this Monday, April 8th is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ event,“ Peter Davis, Director of TAMIU’s Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium stated. The next total solar eclipse in South Texas will be in McAllen and Brownsville on May 11, 2078, he added.

Davis, a veteran of three total solar eclipses, will share his personal experiences with and knowledge about these awesome and rare events during a presentation at the planetarium on Friday, April 5th at 7:30 p.m. The first 87 people attending this presentation will receive a free pair of eclipse safety glasses. Discover what causes solar and lunar eclipses, what are the differences between partial, annular, and total solar eclipses, the times and path of the April 8th total solar eclipse in Texas, the spectacular things that you could experience if you are in the total eclipse path, what you could see in Laredo (the stages of a partial eclipse), and how to safely watch and photograph a solar eclipse. Get answers to your questions about eclipses! This event is open to the public and admission is only $3.00.

“A total eclipse is a rare, awe-inspiring celestial event that you should take the whole family to see. It drastically changes the appearance of the two biggest objects we see in our sky: our Sun and Moon,” Davis stated. “The Moon will cover 100% of the Sun for approximately 4 minutes when viewed from the 115-mile-wide path of totality that will pass through Eagle Pass, Kerrville, and Dallas, Texas, and then sweep through thirteen U.S. states from Texas to Maine,” he added. This shows the sequence of what you will see if you travel to be in the eclipse totality shadow path.

Total Eclipse sequence

“Here in Laredo on April 8th, the Moon will appear to be slightly to the side of the Sun, covering about 97% of the Sun's disk. We will experience a partial eclipse, which will not darken the sky since the Sun will be a very thin crescent at the maximum point of the eclipse,” Davis explained.

The times of the partial eclipse’s phases visible in Laredo are listed below:

Solar Eclipse Phases
12:09:20 p.m. Partial Eclipse begins (First Contact- The first edge of the Moon touches the Sun)
1:29:14 p.m. Maximum Partial Eclipse (Extremely thin crescent shape of the Sun is visible)
2:51:16 p.m. Partial Eclipse ends (Last Contact- The last edge of the Moon leaves the Sun)

“Safety is the number one priority when viewing a solar eclipse,” Davis stated. It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection like the free eclipse glasses that will be given out at this event. Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter in front of the optics, will instantly cause severe eye injury.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is precisely lined up between the Earth and the Sun, casting a moving shadow on Earth. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon appears to be the same size as the Sun, so it fully covers the disk of the Sun, darkening part of the sky, and making it so some bright stars and planets visible in the daytime. The Sun’s beautiful outer atmosphere, called the corona, which normally cannot be seen, is visible during this ‘totality’ phase. The corona has a different shape during each eclipse because the number of sunspots that are present affects the shape of the corona.

Whether the Moon can completely cover the Sun's disk during an eclipse depends on the Moon's distance from Earth. The Moon has a slightly elliptical orbit around Earth, so at one point each month it is farthest from the Earth (apogee) making the Moon appear slightly smaller than average, and at one point it is closest to Earth (perigee), making the Moon appear slightly larger than average in our sky. During this solar eclipse the Moon is near to its closest approach to Earth, so it will cast a shadow that sweeps across Mexico, through much of the U.S., and a little part of Canada.

For more information about this eclipse, visit the Planetarium’s webpage at https://www.tamiu.edu/planetarium/index.shtml or NASA’s website at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eclipses/home/. To find out the eclipse times for the city that you live in you can go to this site: https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa/laredo?iso=20240408. If you have questions about this event, call the TAMIU Planetarium Director, Peter Davis, at 956.326.3128, or email him at peter.davis@tamiu.edu.

Director’s Message

The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium is a community outreach of Texas A&M International University serving the students and public of south Texas. We live in an extraordinary age of exploration of our universe. Our goal is to fire the imaginations of young people about discovering the wonders of life on our earth, the wonders of our universe, and the fascinating journey of scientific discovery, encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM areas. We also endeavor to inform and entertain the public with shows featuring many of the fascinating places in our universe that are being discovered every day. We do this with our state-of-art projection system that immerses our audience, surrounding them completely with a spectacular audio-visual extravaganza. Come explore the universe with us at the speed of imagination!

TAMIU's Amazing Planetarium: A Virtual Tour

Enjoy an exciting behind-the-scenes virtual tour of TAMIU's Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium. Get a close-up look at the planetarium's state-of-the-art Digistar 5 projection system and the impressive digital technology utilized to project stunning 360-degree immersive video on its large dome, which is housed in an eye-catching glass pyramid with a gold pinnacle. Experience this fascinating video tour!

About Us

The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium, named after a Laredo philanthropist, opened to public in April 2005. At that time, it was one of only 14 new-generation Digistar 3 digital projectors in the United States. The 40 foot dome of the planetarium is inside a four-sided glass pyramid topped with a gold leaf pinnacle. The glass pyramid planetarium building is a shining beacon at Texas A&M International University, and is one of the foremost attractions of Laredo. The Planetarium was upgraded in 2014 to a state-of-the-art Digistar 5 projection system from one of the leading planetarium manufacturing companies in the world which can show the view from any part of the known universe. One of the most sophisticated planetariums in the State of Texas, this system has two 4K digital projectors that display a 360˚ video image on our 40 foot dome that is 8 times the resolution of 1080i HD television. Eight to ten times brighter than the previous projection system, this system immerses the audience in a truly spectacular visual environment with great depth of field and rich colors which has to be seen to be appreciated! The upgraded 5.1 surround sound system provides an immersive auditory experience, truly making you feel that you are there, whether on an alien planet, deep in space, or somewhere here on earth.

To get an idea what it is like to be immersed in a video show extravaganza at the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium please click on our planetarium commercial link below.


Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium and Science Center
5201 University Boulevard, Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center 373A, Laredo, TX 78041-1900
Phone: 956.326.3128 | Fax: 956.326.2459 | E-mail: planetarium@tamiu.edu

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