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Physics & Astronomy|College of Arts & Sciences

WELCOME to the Harry C. Vaughan University of Wyoming Planetarium

Now offering online ticket sales!              

Doors open 20 minutes before show.

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); $2 for student and $3 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 to noon.  We can only accept cash or checks in person. 

Tickets can also be purchased online. Please note that all online tickets are $3, 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.

Changes for upcoming schedule:

Our shows will start at 8pm instead of 7pm during the summer. This will allow time for the Sun to set so we can showcase our telescope after select shows.

Our kid-themed Saturday shows are moving to 11am on Wednesdays. These shows will be offered every other week.

Laser light shows will be shown every other week at 9:10pm.

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 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

August 5th (Wednesday)

11 am  Full Dome Movie: Back to the Moon for Good

The days of lunar exploration peaked in the 1960s and 70s.  They started with a dream to send a man to space and ended with astronauts walking, driving, and even golfing on the lunar surface.  But man has not set foot on the moon for over 40 years.  Back to the Moon for Good explores the Google Lunar X-Prize: mankind’s renewed dream to get back to the moon, this time for good.

* After the show, we will head up to the roof and observe another brilliant object in our sky: the Sun.  Don’t look directly at it; we will have the equipment you need to get a good look.

August 7th

8 pm  A Midsummer Night’s Sky

As summer draws to a close and the sun sets earlier in the evening, a new myriad of stars and constellations become visible.  Tonight we will explore these newly visible wonders and the planets that accompany them in our evening sky.

9:10 Laser Light: Zeppelin Unbound

August 14th

8 pm  Uranus

The father of Saturn and the grandfather of Jupiter, Uranus continually plays an important role in our Solar System. Pale blue and farther away than a billion miles, Uranus has intrigued humans since the 18th century. Tonight we will explore this gas giant and discover basic and advanced information of Uranus!

9pm Tour of STAR Observatory

August 19th (Wednesday)

11 am  A Journey to Absolute Zero

The solar system has a wide range of climates. If you thought Laramie had temperamental weather, join us as we explore just how extreme the temperatures of the universe can be. We will start as hot as possible and see if we can't make it down to absolute zero.

*Then stay after the show to help us make and eat liquid nitrogen ice cream!

August 21st

8 pm  Water, Water Everywhere

More than 2/3rds of our Earth is covered in liquid water.  Where did all that water come from, and does it exist elsewhere in our solar system?  Tonight we will explore the potential for liquid water in the solar system and what that could mean for the existence of extraterrestrial life.

9:10 Laser Light: U2

August 28th

8 pm  The History of Astronomy

Since ancient times, astronomy - the study of the cosmos - has been an integral part of science, religions, and cultures around the world. In this engaging show, we will learn all about the people, myths, legends, and discoveries in astronomy through the ages - from ancient Greek philosophers and their thought experiments to modern day cosmologists and theoretical physicists. So embark with us on a journey through time as we explore the History of Astronomy!

 9pm Tour of STAR Observatory


Information for Groups:

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.

Our shows are now free for school groups! Thanks to the generosity of the Windy Ridge Foundation and the state of Wyoming we are able to offer this.  For non-school groups, our group rate is $30 for a show.

Please call 307-766-6150 or email 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:


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:

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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