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Pretlow PlanetariumAbout Us


The planetarium was named for Miss Mary Denson Pretlow at the request of the anonymous donor who presented the University with the funds to build the planetarium.

The University's Board of Visitors was receptive to naming the building after Miss Pretlow due to her thirty years of service (1917-1947) as head of the Norfolk Public Library as well as her career as a distinguished historian and librarian.

The 40-foot domed planetarium is used by the introductory astronomy classes which were were first implemented at Old Dominion University by the late C.S. Sherwood, III. The 40-foot domed planetarium utilizes a fully digital projector--the Digitarium Epsilon system--and feature 5.1 surround audio.


We are located on West 45th Street, one block west of Hampton Boulevard. Parking is available in the Elkhorn Avenue Garage at the corner of Elkhorn Avenue and West 43rd Street.

Pretlow Planetarium



Pretlow Planetarium

ODU's 40 foot educational planetarium will allow you to explore the stars.


About Us

ODU and the Physics Department strive to present enlightening experiences that inspire wonder about space and science.

Spring 2014 Planetarium Lineup


Electrifying shows are scheduled for audiences of all ages.

Pen on Notebook


A planetarium offers a unique opportunity for both formal and informal education.



Full calendar view of all upcoming public shows and events.



See what's happening at the Pretlow Planetarium.

ODU OmniGlobe

Astronomy Courses

ODU offers exciting courses that take part and use the planetarium for classes.

Bruce Hanna, Planetarium Director in the observatory dome


Friends of Pretlow support the formal and informal educational missions of Old Dominion University's planetarium.