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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.  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

Tuesday November 28th

7:00pm  Seeing                                                                          Duration: 30 minutes

Ride a photon across the galaxy to your mind's eye and experience how we see.  SEEING! follows a photon’s creation and journey across the galaxy to a young stargazer’s eye. From there, witness the conversion to an electro-chemical impulse that then travels the neuro pathways of the brain to the various centers that create the image the brain sees.

December

December shows at the UW Planetarium delve beyond the solar system to gaze at the mysteries of the universe: starting with the objects we can see with the naked eye, then on to what telescopes have seen of the galaxy, and beyond to what we currently understand of the structure and evolution of the universe.  This month also features a special event, Star of the Magi, as Dr. Chip Kobulnicky explores our ancient and modern understandings of the visible universe.

 

 

Friday December 1st   

7:00pm  The Astronomy Show To Get You Interested in Astronomy!   Duration: 50 minutes

Moons, Planets, Stars, and Galaxies all contribute to the structure of our universe. While most of us look up at night and see a blanket of stars, astronomers see a structured space. Through observation and with the help of optics and logic, astronomers have synthesized the shape and composition of our universe at both a super-massive and molecular level.  Furthermore, they have deduced the formation and end of our universe. Tonight we will discover the logical structure of our universe, explore what astronomy is all about, and learn about ourselves by looking out into space.

8:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory                                Duration: Weather Dependent

 

Saturday December 2nd   

11:00am  First Discoveries                                                                               Duration: 40 minutes

We live in a golden age of astronomical discovery.  In the past few hundred years, our solar system grew with the discovery of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.  Research on stars has revolutionized our understanding of their life cycle: how our Sun was born and how it will eventually run out of fuel.  Even recently, the detection of Gravity Waves has helped us to see black holes colliding in the universe.  Astronomers understand much more about the universe now than we did even a few year ago.  Today, we will explore some of the discoveries they have made and how these discoveries change everything we thought we knew about space.

After the show, you will have a chance to create your own telescope so you can make discoveries for yourself.

 

Tuesday December 5th     

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 December 8th

7:00pm  More than Darkness                                                                            Duration: 50 minutes

Everything we see in our universe makes up less than 5% of its actual mass.  So, what is the other 95%?  Only in recent history has this mysterious substance been described as “dark energy” and “dark matter.” Both of which have rewritten our understandings of astrophysics on great scales.  Tonight at the planetarium, join the exploration of the other 95% of the universe: dark matter, dark energy, and how they impact the future of the cosmos.

8:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory                                Duration: Weather Dependent

 

 

Tuesday December 12th

7:00pm  Seeing                                                                                                 Duration: 30 minutes

Ride a photon across the galaxy to your mind's eye and experience how we see.  SEEING! follows a photon’s creation and journey across the galaxy to a young stargazer’s eye. From there, witness the conversion to an electro-chemical impulse that then travels the neuro pathways of the brain to the various centers that create the image the brain sees.

 

Friday December 15th   

7:00pm  Star of the Magi                                                                                 Duration: 60 minutes

The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" as leading "magi" to the birthplace of Jesus.  Could this star, depicted in artwork for nearly two thousand years, have been an astronomical event?  A supernova?  A comet?  A planetary conjunction with great significance?  Come speculate and learn about the heavens and wonder as astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

8:00pm  FREE Tour of our STAR Observatory                                Duration: Weather Dependent

 

 

Saturday December 16th

11:00am To Infinity and Further                                                                    Duration: 40 minutes

Looking up at the night sky, you may be able to count a few thousand stars—if you have the time and patience.  But did you know that the Milky Way galaxy is made of more than 100 billion stars?  And there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe!  On top of that, the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.  This morning we will explore deep into the past to discover the age and size of our universe. 

After the show, we’ll see the expanding universe in our own hands with Stretchy Universe Slime.

 

1:00pm  Star of the Magi                                                                                 Duration: 60 minutes

The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" as leading "magi" to the birthplace of Jesus.  Could this star, depicted in artwork for nearly two thousand years, have been an astronomical event?  A supernova?  A comet?  A planetary conjunction with great significance?  Come speculate and learn about the heavens and wonder as astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

 

 

Tuesday December 19th

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.

 

The Planetarium will be closed December 20th through January 2nd for Winter Break.  Happy Holidays!

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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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