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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 Astonomy 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 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.

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


This month at the UW Planetarium welcomes a new season and the unique stargazing opportunities this summer brings to us in Wyoming.  Join us to discover new seasonal constellations, Saturn at opposition, the Sun reaching its highest point in our daytime sky, and so much more.


Friday June 16th

8:00pm  Throughout History: Eclipse 2017                                                           Duration: 50 minutes

August 21, 2017 will go down in history as the Great American Eclipse and will be the most widely viewed eclipse EVER!  There will be eclipse events, viewing parties, and festivals across the country as well as chances to see the eclipse live via social media and NASA TV.  But this is not the first eclipse in the Earth’s history.  Eclipses have been predicted, viewed, celebrated, and feared for thousands of years.  Today we will explore solar eclipses in recorded human history: how often they take place, where they occur, and how our ancestors welcomed or feared this rare phenomenon.

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


Tuesday June 20th  

10:00am AND 3:30pm From the Summer Solstice to the Solar Eclipse         Duration: 45 minutes

Today marks the first day of summer, the day that the sun reaches its highest point in our daytime sky.  And in a few short months another wondrous solar event will occur: a Total Solar Eclipse.  Today we will explore the motions of the Sun and Moon across the Wyoming sky and how they come together to create this summer’s celestial phenomena.

7:00pm  IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System         Duration: 30 minutes

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 June 23rd

8:00pm  Astronomy and Math                   Duration: 50 minutes

More than numbers and equations, mathematics is a fundamental basis that the physical sciences are built upon. Mathematics has lead to the advancement of space technologies, the discoveries of planets, and the understanding of the nature of our universe. Join us tonight to discover how advancements in math have contributed to astronomy and how we view the Universe today!

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


Saturday June 24th  

11:00am    As Seen from Laramie       Duration: 40 minutes + Flexible Activity Time

Often times in the planetarium we observe the planets and stars from a point of view off the Earth’s surface.  But we can see many of these cosmic objects from our own backyards!  Today we will go back to the traditional roots of a planetarium to see all the great astronomical objects (stars, constellations, eclipses, comets, asteroids, and planets) from Laramie’s perspective. This show will be your guide to Wyoming stargazing this summer!

After the show you will have a chance to create a star-finder to take home.


Tuesday June 27th

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 June 30th

8:00pm  Greek Mythology                            Duration: 50 minutes

Ancient civilizations used the night sky as a clock, calendar, and story board for their unique mythologies.  The 88 constellations that piece our sky together are dominated by Ancient Greek Mythology and the heroes, villains, gods, and men that feature in Grecian myths.  Tonight we will connect the dots to discover the characters that lie in these constellations and help astronomers navigate the night sky.

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


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 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.


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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