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The Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium

The new Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium, provides students and visitors with viewings of stars, constellations, nebulae, galaxies, planets, and much more.

Our state-of-the-art projection systems and 360-degree immersive environment afford opportunities for collaborations with faculty, staff, and students from across campus beyond the planetarium's traditional use for astronomy education.

The planetarium seats up to 48 visitors under its 35-foot diameter dome, and includes several projection, lighting, and audio systems:

  • Spitz SciDome 4K digital projection system
  • Zeiss ZKP4 opto-mechanical star projector
  • AVI SkyLase laser system
  • ChromaCove LED lighting system
  • 5.1 stereo sound system

Zeiss Star Projector in the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium

Sesame Street children's program in the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium at SUNY Buffalo State College.

A 'Stellar' Community Resource

The new, state-of-the-art planetarium is a unique campus resource continuing the tradition of bringing astronomy education to the Buffalo State and Western New York communities since 1964.

Students studying astronomy, geology, and other courses use the planetarium as an immersive visualization laboratory. The planetarium also offers programs for school groups, scout groups, and the general public where audiences view the night sky and are transported across our solar system and out into the universe.

Kevin Williams in the planetarium

About the Director

Kevin Williams has been the director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium since 2010.

A celebrated educator and associate professor of earth sciences and science education at SUNY Buffalo State College, Williams is also responsible for giving presentations to planetarium visitors. These groups are diverse, including K–12 students from city and suburban schools, college students from courses on campus, special needs adults from area programs, children in summer programs, and adults from private groups. Although the programs cover similar topics, Williams modifies his presentations to the specific audience. 

With a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics and graduate degrees in planetary geology, Dr. Williams' background and research experiences translate into exciting lessons in the planetarium.

His expertise and creativity as a speaker is recognized throughout the region.


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Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  Science and Mathematics Complex •  Buffalo, NY 14222