The Planetarium is named after Sir Thomas Brisbane, governor of New South Wales (1821 - 1825) and well known Scottish astronomer who established the first significant observatory in Australia for mapping the southern skies. The Planetarium is located about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) from the Central Business District, and is administered by the Brisbane City Council.
The Planetarium features the 12.5m Cosmic Skydome (hemispherical planetarium theatre) with a recently upgraded, state of the art, digital dome projection system; an observatory containing a permanently mounted Zeiss 15cm refractor and a Meade 20cm "Go To" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope; extensive photographic and model displays in its Foyer and Gallery including the 1969 Moon landing with a replica of Neil Armstrong's space suit, the Space Shuttle, and Mars expeditions, as well as a free mini-theatre featuring a regularly updated Space Telescope Science Institute web feed. The Planetarium runs regular shows in the Cosmic Skydome for public and school groups, observing sessions in the observatory and occasional public field nights. The original Zeissstar projector was removed from the Cosmic Skydome during the upgrade in 2010 and was placed on display in the foyer in early 2012. A replacement optical star projector by Ohira Tech was installed in the Cosmic Skydome in early 2013.