Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

Apply to the University of Wyoming apply now

Global Resource Navigation

Visit Campus
Download UW Viewbook
Give to UW

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.

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


April

The month of April showers us with holidays: April Fools Day, Easter, and Earth Day all occur this month.  And the UW Planetarium has created shows and activities to celebrate them all!  Join us as we celebrate the first full month of Spring at the Planetarium!



Tuesday April 25th

7:00pm  Full Dome Movie Double Feature: Seeing & Back to the Moon for Good              Duration: 50 minutes

Seeing: 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.

Back to the Moon for Good: Thanks to numerous landers and orbiters, humankind explored and learned a great deal about Earth’s closest neighbor in the 1960s and 70s.  But we haven’t been to the moon in over 40 years.  That is about to change.  The full dome feature, Back to the Moon for Good, follows numerous teams in competition to land on the moon and win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.  Designed to spark creativity and innovation in 21st century space travel, the XPRIZE is inspiring students and citizens to head back to the moon – for good.

Thursday April 27th and Friday April 28th

8:00pm  Aboriginal Skies: Land of the Lightning People                               Duration: 90 minutes

Tonight, the UW Planetarium hosts a Special Event!  John Stocke, a CU Boulder Professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, will be joined by Australian storyteller and educator, Paul Taylor, to present Aboriginal Skies.

Taylor and Stocke explore the creation story and ancient rock art describing Aboriginal beliefs about the heavens. Tonight will discover the sky the way the Wardaman view it, based on research done with Bill Yidumduma Harney, Senior Elder of the Wardaman people of the Northern Territory in Australia.

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

Saturday April 29th

11:00am  Light, Camera, Action; Space!                Duration: 40 minutes + Flexible Activity Time

Have you ever wondered how we know so much about space without ever leaving the Earth? Light is the answer! Telescopes, colors, and images allow us to learn about things that are too far away for humans to visit. Watch this children’s show to find out all the very cool things light allows astronomers to do in space and see some of the best objects space has to offer!

To discover more about light for yourself, stay after the show and build your own spectroscope!

May

 

May brings the end of the Spring semester at UW, but the beginning of a new season of stargazing.  A new set of seasonal constellations are visible in the early evening, the Earth passes through the dust stream of Halley’s comet to produce our annual Eta Aquarids meteor shower, and Mercury becomes visible in the early morning with the bright planet Venus.  Whether you are staying up late to study for finals or waking up early to wish upon a shooting star, there is something to see any time of night this May.

 

Tuesday May 2nd    

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 May 5th    

8:00pm  End of the Year Celebration                                                               Duration: 60 minutes

It’s the last day of classes at UW!  Join us for an end-of-the-year celebration to relax and enjoy just about everything the UW Planetarium has to offer.  We'll close out the school year by touching on all of your favorite topics in this extended planetarium show.

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

 

Tuesday May 9th

7:00pm  Full Dome Movie       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 May 12th

8:00pm  Brilliant Horizons                                                                               Duration: 50 minutes

It is said that without darkness, we cannot know the light... a quite poetic statement, yet surprisingly realistic. Light, in the form of electromagnetic radiation, is how we experience and discover the universe around us. In fact, the wonders of our universe could not be explored without the use of electromagnetic radiation, such as ultraviolet, infrared, x-ray, and visible light. Join us this Friday for an enlightening evening, exploring the farthest [and closest] reaches of our universe. Let there be light!

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

 

Saturday May 13th

11:00am  A Stroll through the Solar System             Duration: 40 minutes + Flexible Activity Time

Sun, planets, and moons, oh my!  There is so much in the Earth’s cosmic neighborhood to explore!  Come with us as we travel our solar system in all its beauty and wonder.  After the show we’ll put on our walking shoes and head outside to walk a scaled distance to Pluto.  If the Earth were only a few inches from the Sun, how far away would Pluto be?  The answer will shock and amaze you!

Activity: Solar System Walkthrough (weather dependent) or Pocket Solar System

Tuesday May 16th

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 May 19th

8:00pm  The Great Giants and their Children                                       Duration: 50 minutes

The outer four planets of our solar system are known as the Gas Giants due to their tremendous size.  With great size comes a pull of gravity so strong that many moons are trapped in orbit around these planets.  In fact, Jupiter and Saturn boast more than 60 moons each!  Join us as we take a voyage to the great giants of the solar system, and witness the dynamic nature of the planets and their many moons.

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

 

Tuesday May 23rd

7:00pm  Full Dome Movie       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 May 26th

 8:00pm  American Astronomy                                                                           Duration: 50 minutes

 Everyone knows that Americans were the first nationality to walk on the moon. But did you know that they are the only nationality to walk on the moon? Or that America played significant roles in astronomy even before the constitution was written!? Tonight we honor Memorial Day and introduce the history and impact that America has wielded in astronomy and how it's benefiting you now!

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

 

Saturday May 27th

11:00am  To Infinity and Beyond!                           Duration: 40 minutes + Flexible Activity Time

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.

Activity: Stretchy Universe Slime

 

Tuesday May 30th

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.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

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.

 

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

Share This Page:

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Vimeo Icon Facebook Icon

Accreditation | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Accessibility Accessibility information icon