FAQ

I don’t have a vehicle – How can I get to the planetarium?

On a first-come, first-served basis, visitors without access to transportation who wish to come to The Jasper Planetarium may take the Fairmont shuttle to our location at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (JPL) at no charge. Please NOTE: the Fairmont shuttle runs during the day within a few hours of most of our planetarium time slots, though daily times vary. Every day, the shuttle runs late enough for you to take in an early for a meal or drinks before your planetarium booking HOWEVER, shuttles do not run late enough in fall or winter for you to take back into town. Those without vehicles needing to travel back into town after time at the planetarium may take a taxi, such as with Caribou Cabs (approx $24) Here is the current Fairmont shuttle schedule:

WINTER SHUTTLE SCHEDULE

Please note the later departure times will only be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings:

When are the Northern Lights visible from Jasper?

At Jasper’s lattitude, we get to see some sort of aurora every 3-4 days (not factoring in for cloud cover). Such displays can last for
a few minutes or a few hours (contrary to popular belief, auroras can be visible any month of the year, as long as it is dark.)
Even if an aurora isn’t easily visible to the naked eye, it may still be possible to get a photo of a green glow on the horizon.
For more, check out our Astronomy Forecast page

How do we see the Northern Lights?

We can predict the aurora up to 3 days in advance as 2-3 days is the approximate travel-time of the particles that errupt from
the Sun to cause auroras on Earth.
While telescopes are not required to see the aurora, our team of astronomy and astrophotography guides offer expert
knowledge and deep space viewing as the perfect activity to do while waiting to see if an aurora will appear.
For more, check out our Astronomy Forecast page

Will it be clear tonight?

Weather in the Jasper Rockies can change every few minutes.
Typically, in a given week, we are able to see something through our telescopes at some point in the evening roughly 6 out of 7 nights each week.
For more, check out our Astronomy Forecast page

What happens if it’s cloudy?

We operate rain-or-shine, clear-or-cloudy, even when snowing. Because it is indoors, our planetarium is not affected by weather.
While we do not need the sky to be completely clear to use our telescopes, we CAN NOT guarantee clear skies. We DO NOT
provide refunds if skies are too cloudy, but we will offer a “rain check” to re-book for another date.
Our outdoor telescope experience is a learning opportunity with a variety of “weather-proof” activities AND telescope stargazing.

What ages can participate? (Can I bring my infant to the planetarium?)

To ensure the magical experience of being in the planetarium is not interrupted by any wee-folk who need to leave due to being startled or upset in our dome theatre, our mimimum age is 4. (No exceptions)
If you are travelling with any children under the age of 4, there are a few work-arounds you can take advantage of:

  • for Planetarium Experience ONLY, have 1 parent/adult stay outside the dome with your young child (you can also do swaps where some adults go in the dome for one of our time-slots while the other adult goes in after they’ve ‘traded’ off with another adult to watch junior
  • come for our Planetarium & Telescope Experience and do the above, but all can participate in the Telescope Experience outside
  • make use of local service Our Jasper Nanny (the official nanny service of Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge) to arrange child-care for those in your party under 4 years of age (must be arranged in advance – you will not have time to arrange this at the planetarium)

What is a planetarium anyway? (Is it the same as an observatory?)

A planetarium is a domed theatre that simulates the night sky by use of a projection system. In contrast, an observatory is a
building that houses one-or-more telescopes for live viewing of the sky under a retractable roof. While we do offer telescopes in a nightly educational experience, we are not an observatory.

Can I see your show elsewhere?

No. Our planetarium experience is a world-exclusive interactive audience-participation experience created
specifically for and about the unique views in and above the dark skies of the Jasper Rockies. Our theatre is the only location
this is delivered. As one tour manager put it, “I can see a planetarium show anywhere. This is the story of Jasper in a planetarium.”

I’ve heard Jasper is a Dark Sky Preserve (what is that?)

A dark sky preserve is basically an astronomy park, where local rules and bylaws defend the night against light pollution from city
lights. In 2011, Jasper underwent an exhaustive light audit before qualifying as the largest of the world’s 40 dark sky preserves.