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 Shows Begin New Year with Programs About Constellations, Alien Life

December 21, 2017
series of four images showing lunar eclipse stages
The morning of Jan. 31 will bring a total lunar eclipse or “blood moon.” Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth passes directly between the moon and sun, and the shadow of Earth is cast onto the moon’s surface. Be sure to wake up early to catch the moon as it darkens and turns red just before sunrise. This photo sequence is a planetarium simulation of the total lunar eclipse. (UW Planetarium Photo)

The New Year brings a variety of programs -- ranging from whether there is alien life, to an exploration of the moon to a guide on Wyoming stargazing -- to the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium.

But, perhaps the most interesting astronomical sight -- a rare blood moon or total lunar eclipse -- won’t even be part of one of the nightly programs. That’s because one will have to get up before dawn Jan. 31 to view this phenomenon.

“2018 brings many exciting cosmic events, starting with a super blue moon and a total lunar eclipse in January,” says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Join us this year at the UW Planetarium to explore the wonders of our universe.”

Friday planetarium shows during January start at 7 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 four Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m.

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. Tickets also can be purchased by going online at www.uwyo.edu/physics/ and clicking on “Planetarium Schedule.” 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 January planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “Connect the Stars: Constellations,” Saturday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m. For thousands of years, humans have been looking at the stars and using their imaginations to develop stories and myths about the constellations they create. The constellations include stories of heroes and heroines, monsters and villains, and gods and goddesses. During this program, visitors will discover these amazing tales behind our constellations. Visitors can stay after the show to design their own 2-D or 3-D constellation.

-- “Distant Worlds - Alien Life?” Tuesday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m. When we look up at the night sky, we are looking out into the universe. Does alien life exist? In this program, visitors will journey outward to see what it takes for life to develop -- starting with life on Earth and moving out to the rest of our solar system and on to alien planets that orbit distant stars in our galaxy. What might be essential for alien life on distant moons or planets, and how could we detect it?

 -- “Our Place in Time and Space,” Friday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m. You may sometimes wonder where we are in the universe. But, do you ever think “when” we are in the universe? This program 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, visitors will explore the Earth’s place in time and space. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 8 p.m.

-- “Wyoming Stargazing,” Tuesday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. 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 program acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

-- “Constellations Across Cultures,” Friday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. Ancient cultures throughout human history and all across the globe have gazed upward to interpret and utilize the night sky: as a guide across long distances, to predict future events and to guide rites and rituals. This program examines the scientific, religious and traditional significance of astronomy in Incan, Greek and Arabian cultures. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 8 p.m.

-- “To the Moon and Back,” Saturday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. We see our Earth’s moon, our closest cosmic neighbor, almost every day. But, what do we know about the moon? Why does it change shape? Is it really made of cheese? What is the man in the moon? Have people really walked on it? This program will explore the moon to answer these questions and more. After the show, visitors can create craters in a lunar surface to see how cosmic debris shaped the surface of the moon.

-- “Distant Worlds - Alien Life?” Tuesday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. When we look up at the night sky, we are looking out into the universe. Does alien life exist? In this program, visitors will journey outward to see what it takes for life to develop -- starting with life on Earth and moving out to the rest of our solar system and on to alien planets that orbit distant stars in our galaxy. What might be essential for alien life on distant moons or planets, and how could we detect it?

 -- “Mind-Blowing Astronomy,” Friday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m. Stars the size of our solar system, time-warping black holes, voids of nothing hundreds of millions of light years across -- these are just a few of the mind-boggling topics that will be explored in this program. Get ready to have your socks knocked off with a new perspective of the universe around you. A free STAR Observatory tour (weather dependent) follows at 8 p.m.

-- “Wyoming Stargazing,” Tuesday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. 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 program acts as your guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.


Share This Page:

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

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 | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Gainful Employment | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon