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March Planetarium Schedule at UW Includes Programming Time Changes

February 22, 2018
photo of the sun with locations marked in the sky
If you were to take a picture of the sun’s location every day at noon for a year, you would see this figure-8 pattern -- the analemma -- appear. The top of the figure-8 represents the sun at high noon on the summer solstice; the bottom reflects the sun’s noon location on the winter solstice. March and September mark the spring and autumn equinoxes, where the sun’s noon location meets at the same place twice a year to make the cross in the figure-8. (UW Planetarium Photo)

March means spring and the move to daylight-saving time, which brings some scheduling changes at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium.

With the move to daylight-saving time taking place Sunday, March 11, the starting times of the Friday evening planetarium shows will transition from 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, to 8 p.m. starting Friday, March 16, says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. 

“And, in an effort to streamline our schedule, our STAR Observatory will be open from 8-10 p.m. on the first and third Fridays of each month. These tours are still provided for free,” she says. “Feel free to join us at any time. Saturday shows also will be regularly scheduled at 11 a.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month. We look forward to seeing you at our public shows and STAR Observatory evenings.”

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.

The March planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- The planetarium will be closed Friday, March 2, for World Language Day events. However, the STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, March 6, 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 a guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

-- “To Worlds Beyond: Exoplanets,” Friday, March 9, 7 p.m. Twenty years ago, the thought of seeing planets outside of our own solar system was merely wishful thinking in the heads of science fiction writers. Now, we know that planets like “Star Wars'” Tatooine or “Interstellar's” Miller are closer to science fact than science fiction. During this program, visitors will discover the history and methods used for finding planets outside our own solar system, and take a look at some that have already been found.

-- “Max Goes to the Moon,” Saturday, March 10, 11 a.m. Have you ever wondered what it's like to go to the moon? In this show, based on the award-winning children's book, "Max Goes to the Moon" by Jeffrey Bennett, visitors will be taken on just such an adventure. In this first book of the Max Science Adventure series, Max, the dog, and a young girl named Tori take the first trip to the moon since the Apollo era. Along the way, visitors will learn all about the science of the moon and space. Strap in and follow along as Max goes to the moon. After the movie, visitors will have a chance to build their own telescopes to gaze at the moon up close.

-- Full-dome movie: “From Earth to the Universe,” Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m. 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, visitors are invited to experience this program.

-- “The Science of Science Fiction,” Friday, March 16, 8 p.m. Have you ever been at home watching your favorite sci-fi TV show and, when you see some amazing technology, you wonder: 'Hmm, I wonder if that's actually possible?' Well, in this program, visitors will have their answer. From wormholes to robots, this program will find the science in science fiction. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- Full-dome movie: “From Earth to the Universe,” Tuesday, March 20, 7 p.m. 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, visitors are invited to experience this program.

-- “Beyond the Edge of Infinity,” Friday, March 23, 8 p.m. Our universe is governed by a strict set of laws that separate order and chaos. Existing among this order are physical and mathematical oddities: black holes and singularities. These are the borders upon which order and chaos lie. Visitors can toe that line, and learn about the history and forefront of knowledge on these strange phenomena.

-- “Making a Solar System,” Saturday, March 24, 11 a.m. With the help of clear skies and a telescope, we can look in the skies and see the planets and moons of our solar system. But, how did they get here? Today’s program goes back to the beginning to explore the history of the solar system, from the interstellar nursery to the ancient cosmic game of pool, to today and beyond. Visitors are welcome to stay after the show to design their own planets. Will it have rings like Saturn or moons like Jupiter, or maybe Earth-like oceans? The details are up to you.

-- Full-dome movie: “From Earth to the Universe,” Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m. 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, visitors are invited to experience this program.

-- “The Power of Zero,” Friday, March 30, 8 p.m. Carl Sagan famously explained that we are made of stardust. But, what exactly does that mean? Visitors will learn more about interstellar dust, nuclear fusion, the origins of the periodic table and how they all lead to cataclysmic deaths of stars.


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