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Greek Mythology and Space Age History Dot June Planetarium Schedule

May 28, 2015
man in darkness looking up at plantetarium dome full of stars
Travis Laurance, director of the Harry C. Vaughan UW Planetarium, looks to the sky to view Orion the Hunter and two of his dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. (UW Photo)

Greek mythology, the history of the space age and exploration of various planets highlight the schedule for the Harry C. Vaughan University of Wyoming Planetarium during June.

“Our shows will start at 8 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. during the summer,” says Travis Laurance, the planetarium’s director. “This will allow time for the sun to set so we can showcase our telescope after select shows.”

Additionally, the planetarium’s kid-themed Saturday shows will move to Wednesdays at 11 a.m., and be offered every other week.

Tickets cost $2 for students and $3 for non-students, and can be purchased at the Department of Physics main office, located in Room 204 of the Physical Sciences Building, Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-noon. Doors open 20 minutes before each show, where tickets will be sold if available. The planetarium, which seats 58, is located in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building.

Since the renovations were finished last November, the full-dome shows now provide immersive 3-D experiences. Traditional star shows have been replaced with far more interactive presentations, similar to an IMAX theater. Laser shows consist of three lasers (red, blue and green) that project graphics on the dome. The lasers are synchronized with music, and pre-programmed graphics and images are displayed.

The June planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- Forgotten Constellations, Wednesday, June 3, 11 a.m. With 88 constellations in the sky, some of the smaller and fainter ones are often neglected. For example, did you know there is a camel hanging out around the Big Dipper and Little Dipper? Come learn about these constellations and the stories behind them.

-- Greek Mythology, Friday, June 5, 8 p.m. 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. This program will connect the dots to discover shapes and characters that lie in the constellations and help stargazers navigate the night sky. A STAR Observatory tour follows at 9 p.m.

-- The Space Age, Friday, June 12, 8 p.m. From Sputnik to Cassini, humans have made major strides in all areas of science due to spacecraft and their missions. Watch this show to learn the history of spacecraft, what they did and what they found in space. A Michael Jackson laser light show follows at 9:10 p.m.

-- Cool (and Hot) Stuff in Space, Wednesday, June 17, 11 a.m. Space is full of really interesting and beautiful objects. This show will explore some of these wonders by flying through our solar system and beyond to explore planets, stars, nebula and galaxies. This program will show off some of the beautiful objects in space.

-- Planet Series: Neptune the Mystic, Friday, June 19, 8 p.m. The most distant planet in the solar system has enchanted astronomers since its discovery in 1846. In the conclusion of the planet series, the many oddities of this great gassy blue giant -- such as its many unique moons, extreme surface climate and its extraordinary discovery -- will be discussed. A STAR Observatory tour follows at 9 p.m.

-- Planet Series: Mercury and Venus, Friday, June 26, 8 p.m. Explore the two planets closer to the sun than ours, and attempt to explain what makes them different than Earth. Spacecraft sent to these planets also will be discussed. A Daft Punk laser light show follows at 9:10 p.m.

For more information, go to www.uwyo.edu/physics/ and click on “Planetarium is Open!” on the left-side navigation bar, call (307) 766-6150, or email physics@uwyo.edu.


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Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

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