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Physics & Astronomy|College of Arts & Sciences

WELCOME to the Harry C. Vaughan University of Wyoming Planetarium


Tuesday evening shows!

The UW Harry C Vaughan Planetarium is excited to introduce our new Tuesday evening shows.  Starting on the first Tuesday of September, we will begin offereing Tuesday evening shows at 7 pm.  Tuesday evening shows will alternate between This Month's Sky and our featured Full Dome Movie.

Now offering online ticket sales!              

Doors open 20 minutes before show.  There is no admittance once the show starts.

All pre-purchased tickets must be purchased before noon on the Friday of the show. This includes pre-purchased tickets for the Saturday shows. Tickets can be purchased through the following three methods:

Tickets can be purchased at theater (cash or check only); $3 for student and $4 for non-students. Tickets for children under 5 are free.

Tickets can also be purchased at the Physics Department main office in Physical Science room 204 Monday through Thursday from 8-5 and Friday from 8 -4.  We can only accept cash or checks in person. 

Tickets can also be purchased online. Please note that all online tickets are $4, but kids under 5 are still free. Tickets can be picked up at the door 15 minutes prior to the show. Click here to buy tickets online.

Laser light shows will be shown on the 1st Friday of every month at 9:10pm and they are a separate charge from the planetarium show at 8:00.

Tour of STAR Observatory: Weeks without laser light shows will feature an optional Rooftop Telescope Tour! After the planetarium show (and weather permitting) you are invited to the roof of the Physical Science building where you can look through our 16 inch STAR (Student Teaching And Research) Observatory. Please dress warm! The tours will be very informal and you may stay for as long as you like or leave at any time. Tours are free.

We are offering kid themed shows on Saturdays followed by free activities for those interested in staying.  Please note the days.

We are glad to have such a range of young children for our kid-themed shows! Parents, please understand that it can get a little noisy and chaotic at times with so many young kids in a darkened room. We appreciate any help in making these shows enjoyable for all!

Show Schedule

September

Light and dark, seen and unseen, theory and reality, past and future.  This month at the UW Planetarium is all about opposites, not only here on Earth but in the entirety of our universe. 

 

 Friday, September 16th

8pm  Water Around the Worlds

Safely inside the Habitable Zone of our solar system, the Earth has a perfect environment for liquid water: not too hot and not too cold.  And as astronomers search the galaxy for signs of life, they are looking for Earth-like planets with perfect conditions for liquid water.  But the Earth is not the only object in our solar system's history to harbor liquid water.  Other planets and even moons in our solar system show signs of water.  Tonight we will discover where and why liquid water exists in our solar system and the potential these worlds of water have for extraterrestrial life!

9pm Tour of STAR Observatory

Tuesday, September 20th

7pm This Month's Sky

As the months and seasons change here in Wyoming, new and different astronomical events occur in our nighttime sky.  No matter what time of year, there is always something to see after the Sun goes down.  From constellations to meteor showers to visible planets, This Month’s Sky acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

 

Friday, September 23rd

8pm  Greek Mythology

Since the dawn of human kind, we have raised our eyes to the heavens to divine the stars' place in the sky, and therefore our place in the universe.  The people of ancient Greece greatly influenced the progress of these observations, leaving lore of heroes, villains, gods, and men within the stars.  Join us tonight to see the ancient Greek's place in history immortalized in the constellations we see to this day.

9pm Tour of STAR Observatory

 

Saturday, September 24th

11am  Light

Light is knowledge.  We can't fly everywhere we want to go in space, it's simply too big.  So how do we know what Jupiter looks like or what stars are made up of?  Through the magical and wonderful nature of light!  Watch this show to see how light works and to see the highly decorated and colorful universe that we live in.  After the show, prepare to make your own spectroscope to experiment and discover light for yourself.

Tuesday, September 27th

7pm IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System

The Sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by the 8 planets, Pluto, and so much more.  What other cosmic objects make up our solar system?  And where does the solar system end?    Tonight we will look beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches further than we could have ever imagined.  IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System takes audiences on a journey to where our solar system ends and the interstellar medium begins.

                       

Friday, September 30th

8pm  Dark: The Movie

There's something mysterious lurking in our universe -- it permeates all of space, holds entire galaxies together, and makes up 80% of the mass of the universe.  Yet we cannot see it.  This is the mystery of Dark Matter and it is the biggest astrophysical problem of our time.  In this full dome movie, we will explain and explore the nature of Dark Matter with real supercomputer simulations done by Dr. Alan Duffy from the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research.  Join us as we search for Dark Matter in order to unlock the secrets of the unseen universe.

9pm Tour of STAR Observatory

October

Welcome Fall!  The seasons have changed here in Laramie: there is a brisk chill in the air, leaves are changing color, nights are getting longer, and it’s time to start bundling up before you step outside to stargaze.  This month at the planetarium welcomes the new season and the changes that come with it.  We are also happy to introduce our new Tuesday night shows!  These evenings will alternate between our thrilling full dome movies and our fun This Month’s Sky shows designed to introduce audiences to the night sky and the many astronomical events that take place throughout the year.

Tuesday, October 4th

7pm This Month's Sky

As the months and seasons change here in Wyoming, new and different astronomical events occur in our nighttime sky.  No matter what time of year, there is always something to see after the Sun goes down.  From constellations to meteor showers to visible planets, This Month’s Sky acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

Friday October 7th

8pm  Moons!

Methane lakes, volcanoes of ice, deep chasms, and vast oceans!  Celebrate International Observe the Moon Night by experiencing the biggest playground in the Solar System: the planetary moons!

9:10pm  Laser Gaga   (Laser Light tickets sold separately)

Saturday October 8th

11am  Constellations for Beginners

For thousands of years, humans have been looking at the stars and using their imaginations to develop wonderful stories about the constellations they create. The constellations have stories of Heroes and Heroines, Monsters and Villains, Gods and Goddesses, anything you could imagine! Join us as we discover these amazing tales behind our autumn constellations.

Stay after the show to design your own constellation and write its origin story in order to get a stellar prize!

Tuesday, October 11th

7pm IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System

The Sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by the 8 planets, Pluto, and so much more.  What other cosmic objects make up our solar system?  And where does the solar system end?    Tonight we will look beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches further than we could have ever imagined.  IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System takes audiences on a journey to where our solar system ends and the interstellar medium begins.

Friday October 14th

8pm  Autumn Skies

A new school year, football games, and autumn stargazing: fall is upon us here in Wyoming!  For the next few months, there will something to see from sunset to sunrise.  Not sure when or where to look?  Tonight we will be your guides to Wyoming’s Autumn sky: which constellations are visible and how to find them, the planets you’ll be able to spot, and when to look for upcoming meteor showers. Then (weather permitting) join us on the roof for a FREE tour of STAR Observatory to kick off the season of Autumn Stargazing.

9pm  Tour of STAR Observatory

Tuesday, October 18th

7pm This Month's Sky

As the months and seasons change here in Wyoming, new and different astronomical events occur in our nighttime sky.  No matter what time of year, there is always something to see after the Sun goes down.  From constellations to meteor showers to visible planets, This Month’s Sky acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

Friday October 21st

8pm  Future Skies

The Sun rises and sets each day, constellations change with the seasons, planets march across our evening and morning skies.  These are the motions of our solar system that humans have witnessed over the centuries.  But the entire universe is constantly evolving, though on a timescale too long for humans to observe.  Starting with the present day and ending billions of years from now, tonight will show you the sky’s evolution and how it will appear from Earth in the distant future.

9pm  Tour of STAR Observatory

 

Saturday October 22nd

11am  Hot and Cold

From the hottest stars to the coldest moons, space is full of extremes.  Today’s show will make you glad to know that the Earth is in a Goldilocks zone: not too hot and not too cold, just right for life to thrive.

After the show, join us to warm up or cool down with a refreshing treat: liquid nitrogen ice cream and hot cocoa.

Tuesday, October 25th

7pm IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System

The Sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by the 8 planets, Pluto, and so much more.  What other cosmic objects make up our solar system?  And where does the solar system end?    Tonight we will look beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches further than we could have ever imagined.  IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System takes audiences on a journey to where our solar system ends and the interstellar medium begins.

Friday October 28th

8pm  The Spooky Side of Space

Space is an ever growing void of darkness, emptiness, and unknown. From Black Holes to Aliens, space can be very scary at times.  But science helps us to learn more about these objects so they become a lot less scary and much more fascinating! Join us to celebrate the holiday dressed in your favorite costume and receive a special prize at the door! Happy Halloween!

9pm Halloween Party

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Information for Groups:

All private shows will be $50. Payments can be made by cash, check, voucher or IDR.  Sorry, we cannot accept credit cards.

The University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium is a great place to bring your class, club, or entire grade.

Our shows are typically one hour long although it is very easy for us to modify the time as needed.

Learning about the planets or stars? Constellations? Galaxies? Let us know and we can cater our shows to your topic. We also always offer general sky shows for a great introduction to astronomy.

Please call 307-766-6150 or email planetarium@uwyo.edu for more information or to set up a show.

For parking information please contact Transit and Parking Service at 307-766-9800 or visit their webpage at:

http://www.uwyo.edu/tap/parking/parkingoptions.html

Directions:

The University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium is located in the basement of the Physical Science building. Enter the Physical Science building at the SW entrance, go down the stairs and follow the signs pointing to the planetarium.

University of Wyoming map: http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/tour/_files/docs/uw-laramie-campus.pdf

Physical Science is located at D 10 in the above map.

About Harry C. Vaughan:

The planetarium has been renamed in honor of the Windy Ridge Foundation’s owner, who was a professor of meteorology in the Iowa State Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Vaughn taught courses in meteorology, earth sciences and agronomy there. Before teaching at Iowa State, he worked at the Ames Laboratory.

Upon retirement, Vaughn moved to Laramie, where he befriended a number of faculty members in UW’s Department of Atmospheric Science. He devoted his time to his love of astronomy and built a personal observatory in his backyard to make his own astronomical observations and also mentored UW students.

 

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Animal Shelter Donation
Funds from the telescope raffle were used to purchase food and toys for the Laramie Animal Shelter.

Animal Shelter Donation

Animal Shelter Donation
One of the recipients of the Animal Shelter donation.
Planetarium Wall

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