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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

September

   

To welcome families to UW’s Family Weekend, the Planetarium will present 4 public shows over the weekend.  Please see our show schedule below.

Friday September 29th  

6:00pm  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.

8:00pm            Our Place in Time and Space                                                   Duration: 50 minutes

You may sometimes wonder where we are in the Universe. But, do you ever think “when” are we in the Universe? This show takes a look at not only our physical place in the cosmos, but also the unique time in which we exist. From the Big Bang to the ultimate fate of our Universe tonight will explore the Earth’s place in time and space.

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

 

Saturday September 30th

9:00am AND 11:00am Introduction to Astronomy                            Duration: 40 minutes +

           Flexible Activity Time

What constellations will be visible this autumn?  What ever happened to Pluto?  How many stars can we count in the night sky?  How big is the universe beyond those stars?  Today’s show will tackle these questions and more.  Perfect for aspiring astronomers and sky-gazers, we introduce you to the wonders of our solar system, galaxy, and universe beyond. 

After the show, you will have a chance to build your own Star Finder and bring knowledge of the beauty of our night sky home with you.

October

Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Dark Matter Day, oh my!  It is a mysterious and spooky month indeed at the UW Planetarium.  Join us as we explore the mysteries and dark side of space.

 

Tuesday October 3rd  

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 October 6th  

8:00pm  The Milky Way and Beyond                                                                Duration: 50 minutes

Our solar system consists of everything that orbits the Sun -- from Earth and the other planets to tiny asteroids and far flung, ice-cold comets. All of this is a mere speck compared to our vast Milky Way galaxy. However, the Universe does not stop there! The Milky Way is just one of trillions of other galaxies! Come and explore the largest objects in the universe -- starting with our own Milky Way galaxy on to our next-door neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy, and then all the way out to the most distance objects we can spot!

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

 

Tuesday October 10th  

7:00pm  From Earth to the Universe                                                                Duration: 45 minutes

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for thousands of years. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

 

Friday October 13th

8:00pm  Cosmic Superstitions                                                                                       Duration: 50 minutes

Friday the 13th is a day of superstition, and the cosmos is filled with them. The Zodiac constellations have existed for thousands of years and have been used to predicate one's future, but are they really supernatural? What has made the Zodiacs so interesting and historically famous among humans? What role do peanuts play in NASA’s mission successes? How will the universe really end? Spend this Friday the 13th at the UW Planetarium to find out about some of the most famous superstitions in the cosmos!

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

 

Saturday October 14th

11:00am AND 1:00pm Wyoming Rocks to the Moon and Back                  Duration: 40 minutes

Note: Today’s planetarium shows are free of charge for the Geology Museum’s outreach event

The solar system is full of moons.  We see the Earth’s Moon wax and wane every month as it journeys through its lunar phases.  But did you know that other planets in our solar system have moons too?  Mars has 2!  And Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, has 67!  Today we will explore these planetary companions and find out how similar or different they are from Earth’s Moon.

Today the Planetarium is teaming up with the UW Geology Museum to celebrate Wyoming Rocks: to the Moon and Back.  Enjoy today’s activities at the Geology Museum from 11am to 2pm!

 

Tuesday October 17th   

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 October 20th  

8:00pm  Cassini’s Legacy                     Duration: 50 minutes

Launched in 1997, the Cassini spacecraft has opened our eyes and imaginations to the wonders of the ringed planet Saturn and its many unique moons.  Throughout its long exploration, what have we learned about the gas giant?  What unique qualities lie within its ring system and moons?  As this 20 year voyage comes to a close, sending back images and data until the last second, we recount Cassini’s accomplishments and question why this exploration of Saturn ended in fire rather than ice.

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

 

Tuesday October 24th

7:00pm  From Earth to the Universe                                                                Duration: 45 minutes

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for thousands of years . A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.

 

Friday October 27th

8:00pm            The Spooky Side of Space                                             Duration: 50 minutes

Space is an ever growing void of darkness, emptiness, and unknown. From Black Holes to Aliens, space can be very scary at times.  But science helps us to learn more about these objects so they become a lot less scary and much more fascinating! Join us to celebrate the holiday dressed in your favorite costume to be entered for a drawing for a stellar prize! Happy Halloween!

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

 

Saturday October 28th

11:00am The Spooky Side of Space                            Duration: 40 minutes +

           Flexible Activity Time

Halloween is here and space is showing it's spooky side! Creepy Constellations, Abominable Asteroids, Scary Stars, Bone-Chilling Black Holes, and Ghostly Nebula! Come and see the spooky side of space (and also learn a lot about some really cool and strange things!).  Celebrate the holiday dressed in your favorite costume to be entered for a drawing for a stellar prize! Happy Halloween!

After the show we will (safely) experiment with a spooky substance: dry ice.  Ice volcanoes, fog, and ghost bubbles join in the party as we celebrate the holiday weekend.

 

Tuesday October 31st: Dark Matter Day

Dark Matter Triple Full Dome Feature                                              Duration: 90 minutes

7:00pm Dark, the Movie

7:30pm  Phantom of the Universe

8:00pm  Dark Matter Mystery – Exploring a Cosmic Secret

October 31st has been dubbed “Dark Matter Day” by the astronomical community.  This is fitting for Halloween, as Dark Matter is both unknown and mysterious.  Tonight at the planetarium, we will explore everything we know about Dark Matter with three Full Dome Movies.  Feel free to join us for one, two, or all three!

 

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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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