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Physics & Astronomy

College of Arts & Sciences

WELCOME to the Harry C. Vaughan University of Wyoming Planetarium


Summer of Astronomy Activity Challenge: Eclipse 2017 Edition

It is the time of year for our second annual Summer of Astronomy Activity Challenge: Eclipse 2017 Edition!  To download and print the activity book, click here*.  For tips on safely viewing the Sun and the upcoming eclipse, click here.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions at planetarium@uwyo.edu or call 307-766-6506.

*Please note, we will not have pre-printed activity books.

Tuesday evening shows!

The UW Harry C Vaughan Planetarium is excited to introduce our new Tuesday evening shows.  Tuesday evening shows will alternate between This Month's Sky and our featured Full Dome Movie and will be at 7 pm.

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.

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.

Tour of STAR Observatory: Every Friday at 9 pm, enjoy 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

July

This month brings a lot of activity to the UW Planetarium.  Our second annual Summer of Astronomy Activity Challenge is in full swing; see our website to download our Activity Book, discover stargazing opportunities for the summer, and win fun prizes!  We are also fully immersed in preparations for shows and activities designed to introduce audiences to the Great American Eclipse, coming up on Monday August 21st.  And this month, we will offer shows dedicated to exploring the planet, solar system, galaxy, and universe around us.  There is a lot to do and see this summer at the planetarium and under the Wyoming skies!

Friday  July 28th

8:00pm   The Great American Eclipse 2017                 Duration:  50 minutes

A rare and extraordinary event is coming this summer:  a Total Eclipse of the Sun on August 21st, 2017.  Join us tonight for an interactive show about the solar eclipse phenomenon:  the Sun/Earth/Moon system, why eclipses are extraordinary, what astronomers are hoping to discover, and how to safely view the partial or total solar eclipse.  Tonight, we will discuss everything you need to know about the 2017 Great American Eclipse.

9:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory                   Duration: Weather Dependent

August

The Great American Eclipse is approaching quickly, and so is the end of the summer!  Join us at the Harry C Vaughan Planetarium for everything that you need to know about making the most of August.  From the Total Solar Eclipse to the annual Perseid Meteor Shower, we will be your guide to day and night star-gazing these last few weeks of summer vacation.

Tuesday  August 1st

7:00pm  Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter   Duration:  30 minutes

Phantom of the Universe is an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider.  This new full-dome planetarium movie reveals the first hints of dark matter's existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter".  It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth.  From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosion of light and sound, all while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.  Tonight, audiences explore all that we know and all there is still to learn about the Phantom of the Universe.

Friday  August 4th

8:00pm  Stellar Evolution    Duration:  50 minutes

Scientific elements are the building blocks to everything encountered in life.  Interestingly enough, scientific elements are defined by the number of protons an element contains (hydrogen has one while helium has two).  While science has observed that protons are naturally repellent of each other, what happens when the force of gravity is so strong that protons can't escape each other?  This is the defining nature of a star!  Watch this show to find out about nuclear fusion, the life processes of a star, and the origins of our elements!

9:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory     Duration:  Weather Dependent

Saturday  August 5th

11:00am   Constellations for Beginners    Duration: 40 minutes + Flexible Activity Time

For thousands of years, humans have been looking at the the stars and using their imaginations to develop stories and myths 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 constellations.

Stay after the show to design your own 2-dimensional OR 3-dimensional constellation and write it origin story in order to get a stellar prize!

Tuesday  August 8th

7:00pm  This Month's Sky     Duration: 45 minutes

As the months and seasons change here in Wyoming, new 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  August 11th

8:00pm  Pluto Re-Classified     Duration:  50 minutes

"WHEREAS, Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an American, Clyde Tombaugh, at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, and this discovery resulted in millions of Californians being taught that Pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system; and WHEREAS, The deletion of Pluto as a planet renders millions of text books, museum displays, and children's refrigerator art projects obsolete, now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That the Assembly hereby condemns the International Astronomical Union's decision to strip Pluto of it planetary status for it tremendous impact on the people of California and the state's long term fiscal health."

From its discovery in 1930 to re-classification in 2006, Pluto has been a hot topic here in the USA and a favorite among school children.  today we will explore Pluto and delve into the reasons for re-classification as a dwarf planet.  Welcome to the greatest American astronomy controversy of all time.

9:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory    Duration:  Weather Dependent

Tuesday  August 15th

7:00pm  Phantom of the Universe:  the Hunt for Dark Matter   Duration:  30 minutes 

Phantom of the Universe is an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider.  This new full-dome planetarium movie reveals the first hints of dark matter's existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter".  It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth.  From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosion of light and sound, all while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.  Tonight, audiences explore all that we know and all there is still to learn about the Phantom of the Universe.

Friday August 18th

8:00pm  Are YOU Prepared for the Great American Eclipse?   Duration: 50 minutes

The Eclipse is coming in 3 days!  Join us tonight to have all of your questions regarding the total solar eclipse answered.  What is a solar eclipse?  Why is this one so special?  Where can I go to see it?  When is the next one?

Saturday  August 19th

11:00am  Are YOU Prepared for the Great American Eclipse

The Eclipse is coming in 2 days!  Join us tonight to have all of your questions regarding the total solar eclipse answered.  What is a solar eclipse?  Why is this one so special?  Where can I go to see it?  When is the next one?

After the show, crate the eclipse in your hand.

Tuesday  August 22nd

7:00pm  This Month's Sky    Duration:  45 minutes

As the months and seasons change here in Wyoming, new 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  August 25th

8:00pm   The Search for ET     Duration:  50 minutes

Are we alone in the universe?  This deceptively simple question has captivated the imaginations of authors, film makers, and scientists for centuries.  And as technology improved, our methods of searching for potential extra-terrestrials has become more and more sophisticated.  What have we found so far, and what might we discover in the future?  Tonight we will tour the solar system and beyond, in search of habitable worlds and what ET may look like on those planets.

9:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory   Duration:  Weather Dependent

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Information for Groups:

School field trips are $50.  All other private shows will be $50 for the first hour, $25 each additional hour. 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

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.

 

Animal Shelter Donation

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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