Music by DJ Andy Cabic (of Vetiver)
DJs presented by San Francisco Magazine

Explore the mysteries beyond our solar system with a night dedicated to the search for extraterrestrials. 


Distant Signals
African Hall

  • At 7 pm, Grab a seat for a mini-TED talk from Andrew Helton, Instrument Scientist at SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy).

Across the Universe
Science Today

  • From 6 pm - 8:30 pm, Take the wheel yourself and tour the universe with the Academy's own Planetarium presenters.
  • At 8:30 pm, Stop by for a live talk on exoplanets and how we discover them from Howard Isaacson from the Berkeley SETI Research Center

Unexplored Worlds
Coral Reef
6p - 10p

  • Travel back through time and space with VR experiences presented by Underground Engine, a collective of artists, scientists, and technologists.

Close Encounters
Project Lab
6p - 10p

  • Meet members of the Kepler, K2, and TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) missions and learn how coronagraph telescopes help them capture images of exoplanets.

  • Make contact with researchers from the UC Berkeley SETI Research Center and METI who are actively leading the search for extraterrestrial intelligence with interstellar communications and messaging.

  • Chat with experts from SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), the largest airborne observatory in the world, capable of making observations that are impossible for even the largest and highest ground-based telescopes.



  • Hurry! Last entry for our Rainforest dome is at 7:45 pm. Please note: drinks are not allowed inside the Rainforest exhibit.
  • Thirsty? Each bar area features a unique seasonal cocktail—there are multiple bars throughout the museum.
  • Special programs and lectures may have limited seating and admission will also be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.



  • With Planetarium Pass Reservations, you can select your showtime in advance and guarantee your seat under the stars. $3; optional, but recommended. Available online only.
  • Free passes will still be available onsite at the Planetarium kiosk on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early for your best chance to obtain a free pass.



  • A variety of food options are available at NightLife from 6:00-9:30 pm, including The Academy Cafe, The Terrace Bar and Restaurant, and The Academy Cafe Food Cart located in the front lobby.
  • Enjoy a different fresh seasonal "craft on draft" cocktail at each NightLife bar area designed by our resident mixologist Shane McKnight!

All bars accept cash and credit cards.


Planetarium Shows

6:30 pm

Take a tour of the Universe with a sprinkling of the hottest news stories from astronomy and the space sciences!

7:30 pm, 8:30 pm

​​Finding proof of life beyond Earth could be one of the most profound discoveries in human history

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Upcoming events

May 30th at 6:00 pm

Calling all creatures of the night! Explore the Academy's nocturnal side. Sounds by: DJ Mark Maiden.

June 6th at 6:00 pm

We’re bringing the spice at our hottest event of the year. Hear from spicy savants, sample fiery foods, & more.

June 13th at 6:00 pm

Honor Black contributions to global dance with a special Juneteenth edition of the Make History dance battle.

June 20th at 6:00 pm

Inked is back at NightLife! Explore the wonders of ink from cephalopods to live tattoos–yes, the real kind!

June 27th at 6:00 pm

Celebrate the LGBTQ+ community with a night dedicated to community, activism & joy. Featuring drag by Oaklash.