NASA's Earth Observing Mission

In the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium lobby

Everyone knows that NASA studies space; few people know that NASA also studies the Earth. Since the agency’s creation over sixty years ago, NASA has been a world leader in space-based studies of our home planet. That spirit continues today as NASA launches and operates an array of advanced Earth-observing satellites, many developed through international partnerships.

On View


Museum Hours

Open Every Day
9 am – 5 pm


All Ages


J. Watumull Planetarium Lobby


Included with General Admission

Adults: $24.95
Seniors (65+): $21.95
Youth (4–17): $16.95
Children (3 and under): Free
Children age 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

Interactive elements of the exhibit let you experiment with an infrared camera to see how NASA gathers various information by tracking different wavelengths of light or operate a robot arm in an attempt to repair a satellite. In the weather-tracking area, you can create high-and low-pressure zones as they spin storms across the Pacific. Also, learn how an orbiting object’s speed increases as it moves closer and closer to Earth in the gravity well interactive display for all ages.

The exhibit is funded by Bishop Museum’s 2012–16 NASA award Celestial Islands: Using NASA Earth Sciences to Reach Hawai‘i’s Educators and Students. Nasa’s Earth Observing Mission exhibit is part of NASA’s Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums, an important tool by which NASA shares its work and its science content with school children and the general public.

About the Planetarium

Bishop Museum’s Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium opened its doors on December 12, 1961. Originally called the Kilolani Planetarium, the Watumull Planetarium has served over six million visitors and students over 60 years of continuous operation. The Planetarium was instrumental in the recovery of the nearly lost art and science of traditional, non-instrument navigation in Hawaiʻi. Nainoa Thompson spent countless hours in the Planetarium with Will Kyselka and other Planetarium staff in the late 1970s learning how to read the night sky. We are honored to continue that legacy by serving as a training space for today’s navigators.

Our GOTO Chronos II optical star projector provides one of the most vivid, realistic recreations of the night sky available today, with 8,500 pinpoint stars and realistic, bright planets. Our Digistar 4K full-dome video system covers the entire dome in immersive video, allowing us to fly through the rings of Saturn, into the depths of the Orion nebula, out to the edge of the universe, and even simulate a voyage across the Pacific.

The Planetarium has 64 seats and serves 70,000 people a year. The planetarium focuses on programs about Hawaiʻi, blending live and prerecorded elements within each program.