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October UW Planetarium Schedule Includes Spooky Program Offerings

September 27, 2018
artist's rendering of a black hole
This image is an artistic interpretation of a supermassive black hole. Because light cannot escape a black hole, we cannot actually see black holes. But we can imagine what they may look like based on scientific theory and observation. (UW Planetarium Photo)

In keeping with the Halloween theme, spooky solar specters, including black holes and dark matter, highlight October programming 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 October planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m. This program looks at constellations, meteor showers and visible planets.

 -- “From Bang to Bust,” Friday, Oct. 5, 8 p.m. This program explores how science has created a clear picture of how the universe came to be, how it exists now and how it all may eventually end. 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.

-- “The Milky Way and Beyond,” Friday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m. Our solar system consists of everything that orbits the sun, but it is just a tiny speck compared to the rest of our vast Milky Way galaxy -- just one of trillions of other galaxies. Visitors will explore the largest objects in the universe -- including the Milky Way galaxy; our next-door neighbor, Andromeda; and the most distant objects that can be spotted.

-- “The Art of Seeing Exo-Planets,” Saturday, Oct. 13, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This program explores planets beyond the solar system, and visitors will “see” these planets, using scientific evidence and artistic inspiration. The planetarium teams up with the UW Geological Museum to celebrate “Wyoming Rocks.” These shows are free of charge for participants of the Geological Museum’s outreach event. Visitors also are encouraged to enjoy activities at the Geological Museum from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

-- Full-dome movie, “DARK the Movie,” Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m. This program takes visitors through completely immersive visualizations of dark matter evolution, 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.

-- “Dust, Light, Dust,” Friday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. Stars are born in clouds of gas; metamorphose as they fuse the elements of the periodic table; and eventually collapse in cataclysmic deaths. Visitors will discover the science behind stellar formation and the various forms stars take throughout their life cycle. 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, “Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter,” Tuesday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m. This film explores dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. This movie reveals the first hints of dark matter’s existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter."

-- “Spooky Dark Matter,” Friday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. This program looks at the multitude of mysteries in the sky, including the most famous: dark matter.

-- “The Spooky Side of Space,” Saturday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m. Creepy constellations, abominable asteroids, scary stars, bone-chilling black holes and ghostly nebula are all part of the spooky side of space. Visitors are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite costumes and enter a drawing for a stellar prize. After the show, visitors can stay to safely experiment with dry ice.

-- Full-dome movie, “Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter,” Tuesday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m. This film explores dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. This movie reveals the first hints of dark matter’s existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter."

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

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