Li Planetarium Logo

The late Dr. Chia-yu Li, former chairman of ECU’s Department of Chemistry and long-time science educator, was an important figure in the lives of both Phil Hodges and John Bray, the founders of Metrics, Inc.  Dr. Li also played an important role in the early development of that local company.  In his honor, both the Li family and Phil and Lisa Hodges contributed the seed funding for the Chia-yu Li Planetarium.



The permanent facility consists of a geodesic dome and a state-of-the-art digital projector. Pitt Community College has partnered with ATFS to provide smaller, inflatable projection domes so that when the main dome is not in use these outreach systems can be made available to PCC’s Astronomy classes and to other schools, organizations and events.  The Chia-yu Li Planetarium provides much easier access to astronomy, space science and the planetarium experience for students and residents of the area.  When not in use as a planetarium, the geodesic dome will provide much needed additional activity space for the Center.

The quote on the dedication plaque by Dr. Walter Pories reads:

“The contest between nations will not be won by the strongest or the loudest, but by those with the best science, those with the tools to feed, to heal, to protect and to inspire. The Chia-yu Li Planetarium is probably the most important gift for life that the children of eastern North Carolina will ever receive.”   Walter J. Pories, MD


About the Dome

Projection Dome (Geodesic):  10.4 M (34 ft)


Digitalis Education Solution, Inc.
Digitarium Zeta Portable Digital Planetarium System
Max. Projection Distance:  12.3 M (40.5 ft)
Resolution:  1200 pixels across diameter
Field of View:  180 Degrees, Full Sky
Pixels per degree of sky:  6.7 Average
Angle of Projection:  174 degrees
Nightshade simulation and visualization software for teaching and exploring astronomy, earth science and related topics.



Portable inflatable projection domes, a collaborative effort between A Time for Science and Pitt Community College.


Shows and Events

See our Carolina Skies Astronomy Club and Calendar pages for some scheduled events.

Please be aware:  The Chia-yu Li planetarium strives to bring cutting-edge science to the community in Eastern North Carolina. Hence, the staff presents established science that is based on consensus from the scientific community. We will present the scientific perspective on topics such as evolution, the Big Bang, age of the Earth, and global warming. All of our full dome shows and live star talks make reference to an age of the Universe that is 13.8 billion years old and that our Sun and the Solar System formed ~5 billions years ago. Our staff will not alter their presentations when discussing what some consider controversial science topics.