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September Planetarium Schedule at UW Explores Mysteries of the Universe

August 30, 2018
artistic representation of the Big Bang with light exploding outward
The Big Bang Theory is the best-known theory of how our universe started, but we cannot see to the beginning of the universe. This image represents an artistic interpretation of what the Big Bang could have looked like. This month, at the UW Planetarium, some programs take a look at the beginnings of our universe and how art helps the public to see the unseen. (UW Planetarium Photo)

New full-dome movies that explore the mysteries of the universe and programs during Family Weekend highlight the September schedule at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium.

Kid-themed planetarium shows are 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 September planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m. This program looks at constellations, meteor showers and visible planets.

 -- “A Clockwork Universe,” Friday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. This program explores the various ways we can view time and takes a closer look at the clockwork of our universe. 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, “Tycho to the Moon,” Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. Blast off on an amazing ride with Tycho and his young American friends, Ruby and Michael. Learn about night and day, space travel, phases of the moon and features of the lunar surface. Take a close-up look at the sun; see Tycho play in zero gravity; witness Earth from space; and watch meteors shoot across the night sky. Attendees can stay after the program to build their own telescopes.

-- Full-dome movie, “Cosmic Origins Spectrograph,” Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. Created by Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium and showcasing the research of University of Colorado-Boulder scientist James Green, this full-dome movie highlights the current research of Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. COS allows viewers an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between galaxies that surround our own Milky Way. 

-- “The Art of Space,” Friday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. Humanity has historically gazed at the cosmos and seen a giant tapestry. Recently, however, science has dominated the way we look to the heavens. This program looks at space not as the scientific curiosity, but as the artistic inspiration.

-- Full-dome movie, “Cosmic Origins Spectrograph,” Tuesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m. Created by Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium and showcasing the research of University of Colorado-Boulder scientist James Green, this full-dome movie highlights the current research of Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. COS allows viewers an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between galaxies that surround our own Milky Way. 

-- “The Cosmic Cooking Show,” Friday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m. If the universe is a stew, there are 118 ingredients, or elements. Some of these elements form the “meat and potatoes” of the world we see, and some are exotic spices, forged and found in unlikely places. This program will embark on a grand cooking show that will discover some of the most important recipes, or chemical reactions, in our universe. 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.

-- “How We Reclassified Pluto,” Saturday, Sept. 22, 11 a.m. From its discovery in 1930 to reclassification in 2006, Pluto has been a hot topic in the United States and a favorite among schoolchildren. This program will look at Pluto’s brief period as a planet; reasons for its reclassification; New Horizons discoveries; and America’s reactions to it all. Attendees can stay after the program to participate in a pocket solar system activity.

-- Full-dome movie, “DARK the Movie,” Tuesday, Sept. 25, 7 p.m. The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time, a process made difficult because it cannot be seen with the human eye. This program takes visitors through completely immersive visualizations of dark matter evolution that were calculated on some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. These visualizations, developed by Paul Bourke, demonstrate the cutting edge of contemporary supercomputer visualization and how they can help us see dark matter.

 -- “Heroes in the Sky,” Friday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Over millennia, humans have been looking at the stars and creating stories and myths about the constellations they create. These myths have been passed down for generations. Some of these stories will be told in this program. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 7-9 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky. These shows are part of Family Weekend at UW.

For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/.


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