Frequently-Asked Questions

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center members ask these questions frequently. If you have a general question about MPSC membership that doesn’t appear here, please e-mail for an answer!


How do I learn about MPSC activities?

The MPSC Web site is the best source of information about MPSC activities. It is updated frequently and provides daily listings of shows and events.

If you are a MPSC member and you provided your e-mail address with your membership application, you’ll receive e-mail announcements before all special events. You’ll also receive notice of special members-only opportunities through the e-mail announcement list.

Sundial, MPSC’s membership magazine, is another great source of information. It is mailed to the homes of all MPSC members and is available to the public in the gift shop.

MPSC also offers eNews, a free e-mail newsletter for the public. To receive eNews, just send a blank e-mail.

When will MPSC begin its renovation project? How will that affect my membership?

Since its construction in 1949, MPSC has hosted more than six million visitors but has never undergone a significant renovation. UNC is planning a renovation project that will restore the Morehead Building to its original grandeur and will provide new spaces for educational programming.

Although plans for the renovation are progressing, dates are not yet confirmed. It’s likely that renovations will not begin before 2008. MPSC will protect the value of each membership during the renovation period, probably through “freezing” memberships for a period of time.

Where can I park?

It can be challenging to find a parking space during peak hours. There’s a pay lot in front of MPSC, metered parking along Franklin Street and a parking deck on Rosemary Street.

UNC’s Department of Public Safety operates the pay lot; the parking fee is currently $1.25 per hour. There are 40 visitor spaces available on weekdays. The pay lot does not offer bus parking; buses may deliver passengers to MPSC but must park in the University Mall parking lot, about one mile from campus.

If you are a MPSC member, you’ll receive several parking vouchers in your membership packet. You can exchange each voucher in the MPSC gift shop for a coupon valid for one hour of parking in the pay lot. (MPSC must purchase these coupons from DPS; if you want to maximize your donation to MPSC, don’t redeem your vouchers.)

Please note that the pay lot is sometimes free (until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays) and sometimes closed or reserved for UNC events.

Can my grandchildren visit MPSC using my membership? What about other family members? What about a caregiver or babysitter?

All of MPSC's general membership categories provide benefits for one or two adults and their children or grandchildren (ages 18 or younger) living in the same household.

Those benefits do not extend to adult children, adult siblings or nieces and nephews of any age. However, each membership packet includes several guest passes, which members may use to provide admission to other family members.

A caregiver or babysitter may accompany children, using the membership card, if a parent or grandparent is not present.

Can my children use membership benefits when they visit the planetarium on their school field trips?

Because children (and their adult chaperons) are registered for admission as a group when they visit MPSC on school or other field trips, they cannot use their membership benefits for admission.

What’s the Jupiter Ball? How can I attend?

The Jupiter Ball, held in the fall, is MPSC’s annual gala fundraising event — a black-tie party with music, dinner, dancing and more! In recent years, the Jupiter Ball has raised nearly $30,000 annually for educational programs at MPSC.

Every MPSC member, as well as nonmembers who attended the Jupiter Ball during the past year, receives a formal invitation about two months before the event. Individuals who did not receive a formal invitation may request one by calling 919-843-3474. To reserve your place at the party, simply return the invitation’s reply card with payment.

My company will match charitable contributions. How can I use this to help MPSC?

Thank you for your desire to maximize your donation to MPSC! Unfortunately, most companies do not match charitable contributions if the donor receives a membership benefit in exchange for his or her donation. Although some MPSC members are able to match their donations with company support, many are not.

If your company matches charitable contributions, your company’s human resources office can provide an official form for you. Please read the form carefully to determine your company’s guidelines and, if those guidelines permit, submit the form with your membership application.

Company “matches” cannot be used to pay a portion of membership dues and do not change the membership category established by the member’s dues payment.

How do I get my membership number?

The nine-digit membership number appears directly above the member’s name on mailing labels for Sundial and other correspondence from MPSC. If the membership is a renewal, the membership number will also appear on the membership card.

Because membership numbers are assigned by the UNC development office, not by MPSC, membership numbers are not immediately available for new members. If a new member needs a membership number (to register a child for camp, for example), the MPSC membership office will provide a temporary number.

As a MPSC member, am I eligible for benefits at any other museum?

Yes! As of May 1, 2006, MPSC participates in the Passport Program of the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC). MPSC members may show their membership cards at any other Passport Program participant to receive free admission or other benefits. Please note that, following ASTC policy, this benefit does not apply to Passport Program participants within a 90-mile radius of MPSC.

There are more than 200 Passport Program participants in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and other countries. For a complete list of ASTC Passport Program participants and other information about this benefit, please visit the ASTC Web site.

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