Please note: On Saturday, Aug. 18, the Straseburgh Planetarium is closed until the 7:30pm show time of The Sky Tonight.

The Last Question

The Last Question

50 Minutes / Older Children and Adults. Children under 5 not admitted.

Originally produced in 1972, this quiet, contemplative show begins in 2061 and takes us trillions of years into the future, as human intelligence asks ever more sophisticated computers—what happens when all the stars burn out? Can entropy be reversed? At the end, a cosmic computer provides the stunning answer to “The Last Question.”


The Story of "The Last Question"

Isaac Asimov wrote the original short story in 1956, prompted by the 1952 presidential election, in which a computer known as Univac predicted that Dwight Eisenhower would beat Adlai Stevenson after only a fraction of the votes had been counted. Visiting Rochester in 1972, Asimov gave a lecture at RIT, predicting that humans should not fear the powerful computers of the future. “Mankind’s record in morality is so bad, I can’t imagine a machine being worse,” he was quoted as saying. After previewing “The Last Question” at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, he wrote, “It was a terrific show; in fact it was this show that finally convinced me that ‘The Last Question’ was the best story I had ever done and (my private conviction) the best science-fiction story anyone had ever done.”


A Revival of a Rochester Creation

RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium produced "The Last Question" in collaboration with Abrams Planetarium, East Lansing, Michigan, and ran in 45 other planetariums in twenty-three states, Canada, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong. The narration by Leonard Nimoy was added in 1981. 

Eastman School graduate Tim Clark composed the original music for “The Last Question” while he was Strasenburgh Planetarium’s music director. He worked in the Planetarium’s sound studio, which was equipped with a Moog Model D Electronic Music Synthesizer (the smallest one made at the time) and three Ampex 440 tape recorders.

Join us for a revival of this classic show to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Strasenburgh Planetarium!



Based on the story by Isaac Asimov

Spoken introduction by Isaac Asimov

Narration by Leonard Nimoy

Music by Tim Clark

Artwork by Victor A. Costanzo Jr.

Technical production by Joseph Ricci and Steve Fentress

50th Anniversary Strasenburgh Planetarium logo

Thank you to our Sponsors! 

Strasenburgh Planetarium 50th Anniversary Solar System Sponsors 



Please Note

Monday through Friday performances before 1pm are frequently attended by summer camp groups. Adults and older children who prefer a quieter experience may wish to choose performances starting at 1pm or later.

Show Times & Tickets

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