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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!

Show Schedule                

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:

Laser light shows will be shown every other week beginning in April.

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.

More Saturday shows! We have five 4pm Saturday shows scheduled. These shows are geared towards younger audiences but all ages are welcome! There are no Saturday laser shows.

We are glad to have such a range of young children for our Saturday 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 is making these shows enjoyable for all!

Schedule of Shows:

March 27th     

Mars: the Mysterious Red Planet

Mars has been the focal point for myths, superstitions, and hoaxes for centuries.  What makes this planet so fascinating?  And what do we really know now about our red neighbor?

8:20pm Laser Light: Laser Gaga

April 3rd

7pm April's Night Sky

A new month brings new sights to see in our night sky! In this show, we'll take a closer look at what is happening above us and what to look for when you walk outside this month. Get your eyes, binoculars, and telescopes ready and take what you learn so you can explore the night sky for yourself!

820pm Laser Light: Daft Punk

April 4th (Saturday)

4pm Messier Marathon

A popular amateur astronomy challenge is to locate and view as many of the 102 Messier objects in the course of a single night. While we won’t try to cover all of them, we will discuss some of the more notable objects such as large star clusters, distant galaxies, and stellar remnants.

April 10th

7pm Planet Series: Jupiter

This edition of The Planet Series focuses on the largest planet of our Solar System, Jupiter.  Tour the Jovian Moons, prepare to find Jupiter through a telescope, and learn why human life on Earth might not have been possible without the gas giant world.

8:20pm Tour of STAR Observatory


April 17th  

7pm Planet Series: Neptune the Mystic

The most distant planet in the solar systems has enchanted astronomers since its discover in 1846. In our conclusion of the planet series, we will discuss the many oddities of this great gassy blue giant such as its many unique moons, extreme surface climate and its extraordinary discovery.

8:20pm Laser Light: Laser Gaga

April 18th (Saturday)

4pm Movie: Two Small Pieces of Glass

From the Moon to the outer solar system to the farthest objects in the universe, we can see all sorts of interesting and crazy things - all with the help of the telescope. In this show, we'll look at some of the coolest discoveries of things close and (very very very) far away and how the telescope has helped us all these years.

April 24th

7pm That Which Gives us Life

This will be an exploration of the current scientific hypothesis about the birth of the universe, the birth of stars and planets, and the birth of us.

8:20pm Tour of STAR Observatory

May 1st

7pm May: This Month's Sky

As the nights get warmer here in Laramie, there will be more opportunities to go out stargazing!  If you're not sure what to look for stop by the Planetarium tonight to discover which constellations and planets will be shining this month and how to find them.  We may even be able to find some hidden cosmic treasure...

8:20pm Laser Light: Michael Jackson

May 2nd (Saturday)

4pm Scale of the Universe

We all know the universe is big, but how big?  How do we measure astronomical distances, and what's a log scale?  Learn how big and how far apart objects in the universe are, and, more importantly, the techniques used to find out.

May 8th

7pm The Great Pluto Debate

Is Pluto a planet? A dwarf-planet?  Something completely different?  Debates surrounding Pluto's re-classification have raged for years.  Now, the UW Planetarium brings the debate to you: we will deliver the pros and cons, and allow you to come to your own conclusion.  Will you solve the Great Pluto Debate?

8:20pm Tour of STAR Observatory


May 15th

7pm Stellar Evolution

As stars are born and evolve, the sequence of their life is filled with radical changes. Whether they live trillions of years or a few million, their lives are all created from dust. Once born, stars take differing life paths based on size and energy, opening opportunities of extreme nature, like becoming black holes or white dwarfs. Watch this show to find out how stars are born, how they live, and what they become!

8:20pm Laser Light: Laser Legends

May 16th (Saturday)

4pm Moons of Our Solar System

Just as the planets are unique, so are the moons that orbit them.  Did you know that some moons have volcanoes? or liquid water?  Some moons may even have life!  This afternoon we will explore these moons: how they were made, what makes them different, and what could happen to them in the future.

May 22nd

7pm Astronomy Mythbusters

From the dark side of the moon to the twinkling stars of the constellations and beyond, we'll set straight any astronomical misconceptions you may have or didn't even know you had! Put on your helmets and strap in for a ride to bust all those myths and misconceptions about space and astronomy. We'll even discuss some science blunders of your favorite science fiction movies!

8:20pm Tour of STAR Observatory


May 29th

7pm Treasures of the Milky Way

Explore dark interstellar clouds that enshroud the births of stars, dazzling nebulae that betray the deaths of stars, globular star clusters, and a supermassive black hole at the center of the Galaxy. 


8:20pm Laser Light: Pink Floyd

May 30th (Saturday)

4pm Movie: Back to the Moon for Good


This full-dome movie begins by exploring past missions that have explored our stellar neighbor the Moon. The audience will then learn about the Google Lunar XPRIZE and the teams that are competing by being the first ones to travel back to the Moon!


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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 physics@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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