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

UW Planetarium Offers Stargazing Opportunities in June

May 25, 2017
photo of Jupiter and Saturn
The “gas giant” planets, Jupiter and Saturn, will be visible all night this June. Look for them both in the southeastern sky. Saturn shines as a steady point of light in the Milky Way while Jupiter shines brightly to the right. The moon also will be passing by these planets at the beginning of the month before reaching its full moon phase. This June, the full moon is dubbed a “micromoon,” the opposite of the “supermoon” seen on Earth last November. (UW Planetarium Photo)

With nice evenings just around the corner, the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium offers many stargazing opportunities as well as a variety of programs on the summer solstice, the August eclipse and Greek mythology.

“This month at the UW Planetarium welcomes a new season and the unique stargazing opportunities this summer brings to us in Wyoming,” says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. “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 planetarium shows during June start at 8 p.m., with a STAR Observatory tour scheduled to follow approximately an hour later. Kid-themed shows are scheduled Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes six Tuesday shows.

Tickets cost $3 for students and $4 for non-students, and can be purchased at the Department of Physics and Astronomy 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 in November 2014, 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:

-- “The Universe is Really Big,” Friday, June 2, 8 p.m. The Earth seems pretty big to humans. It takes more than three days to fly nonstop around the world. However, there are bigger things in outer space, including some giant and far distant planets in our own solar system. The program will explore the universe in search of larger objects, and attempt to comprehend just how vast outer space is. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 9 p.m.

-- “IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, June 6, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by the eight planets, Pluto and more. What other cosmic objects make up our solar system? And where does the solar system end? The program will look beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that the solar system reaches farther than imagined. The program takes audiences on a journey to where our solar system ends and the interstellar medium begins.

 -- “Our Night Sky: A Different View,” Friday, June 9, 8 p.m. About 2,500 years ago, the Greek civilization revolutionized the way we see the night sky. Currently, 88 official constellations piece together the stars, most with a story dating back to Greek mythology. However, the Greeks were not the only civilization to observe and tell stories in stars. In fact, every ancient society looked to the sky and was inspired by its beauty. This show takes a look close to home to honor the Northern Native American culture and its night sky. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 9 p.m.

-- “Full-Dome Movie: Two Small Pieces of Glass,” Saturday, June 10, 11 a.m. For thousands of years, ancient civilizations looked up at the cosmos and wondered what was up there. They saw thousands of stars, a few planets and the band of the Milky Way, but that was as far as they could see. It wasn't until a scientist named Galileo Galilee pointed two small pieces of glass -- the first telescope -- up to the heavens and opened the universe up for human exploration. Telescopes have advanced considerably since Galileo's time. Humanity now has large observatories and even a couple telescopes in outer space. Watch the full-dome movie, “Two Small Pieces of Glass,” and discover how telescopes work and how astronomers use them to discover the universe. After the show, visitors will have a chance to make and decorate their own telescope or camera obscura to take home.

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, June 13, 7 p.m. As the months and seasons change in Wyoming, new astronomical events occur in the 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, the program acts as a guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

-- “Throughout History: Eclipse 2017,” Friday, June 16, 8 p.m. This Aug. 21 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. The program 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. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 9 p.m.

-- “From the Summer Solstice to the Solar Eclipse,” Tuesday, June 20, 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. June 20 marks the first day of summer when the sun reaches its highest point in the daytime sky. And, in a few short months, another solar event will occur: a total solar eclipse. The program 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.

 -- “IBEX: The Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, June 20, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by the eight planets, Pluto and more. What other cosmic objects make up our solar system? And where does the solar system end? The program will look beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that the solar system reaches farther than imagined. The program takes audiences on a journey to where our solar system ends and the interstellar medium begins.

-- “Astronomy and Math,” Friday, June 23, 8 p.m. More than numbers and equations, mathematics is a fundamental basis that the physical sciences are built upon. Mathematics has led to the advancement of space technologies, the discoveries of planets and the understanding of the nature of our universe. Discover how advancements in math have contributed to astronomy and how people view the universe today. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 9 p.m.

-- “As Seen from Laramie,” Saturday, June 24, 11 a.m. Oftentimes, in the planetarium, visitors observe the planets and stars from a point of view off the Earth’s surface. But, many of these cosmic objects can be seen from our own backyards. The program will go back to the traditional roots of a planetarium to see all of the great astronomical objects (stars, constellations, eclipses, comets, asteroids and planets) from Laramie’s perspective. The program will be the public’s guide to Wyoming stargazing this summer. After the show, visitors will have a chance to create a star finder to take home.

 -- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, June 27, 7 p.m. As the months and seasons change in Wyoming, new astronomical events occur in the 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 program acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

 -- “Greek Mythology,” Friday, June 30, 8 p.m. Ancient civilizations used the night sky as a clock, calendar and storyboard for their unique mythologies. The 88 constellations that piece the sky together are dominated by Ancient Greek mythology and the heroes, villains, gods and men featured in Grecian myths. The program will connect the dots to discover the characters that lie in the constellations and help astronomers navigate the night sky. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 9 p.m.


Share This Page:

Contact Us

Chad Baldwin

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

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

Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Instagram Icon Facebook Icon

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