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Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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December UW Planetarium Schedule Explores Far Reaches of the Universe

November 29, 2018
constellations mapped in the sky
The sun and four planets currently lie in the constellations of Libra, Scorpius and Sagittarius. These are three of the 12 zodiac constellations, the path through which the sun, moon and planets travel as observed from Earth. (UW Planetarium Photo)

Programs in December at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium focus on the far corners of the universe and how astronomers discover what’s out there.

“As 2018 comes to a close, shows at the UW Planetarium look deep into the furthest corners of our universe to see what there is to discover and how astronomers discover it,” says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Join us under the planetarium’s warm and cloudless December skies, and wonder at the splendor of our universe.”

Winter hours continue, with Friday night shows now starting at 7 p.m. and STAR Observatory tours running from 8-9:30 p.m. Kid-themed planetarium shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes three Tuesday night shows at 7 p.m.

The planetarium will be closed Dec. 23-Jan. 3 for UW’s winter break. 

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 December planetarium schedule is as follows:

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

-- “Brilliant Horizon,” Friday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m. Light, in the form of electromagnetic radiation, is how people experience and learn about the universe, especially space beyond Earth. This program explores the farthest and closest reaches of our universe. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- “Tycho to the Moon,” Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. Blast off on an amazing ride with Tycho and his young American friends, Ruby and Michael. Visitors will 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. Visitors can stay after the program to participate in a clay moon model activity.

-- “Two Small Pieces of Glass,” Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was the first person to use the newly invented device to observe the sky. His two small pieces of glass revealed a universe that was far more complex than previously assumed. Telescopes have advanced considerably since Galileo's time. Humanity now has large observatories and even a couple in outer space. This program shares the way telescope development has helped us understand our place in space.

-- “Star of the Magi,” Friday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" as leading "magi" to the birthplace of Jesus. Could this star, depicted in artwork for nearly 2,000 years, have been an astronomical event? A supernova? A comet? A planetary conjunction with great significance? Visitors can speculate and learn about the heavens and wonder as astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

-- “Star of the Magi,” Saturday, Dec. 15, 4 p.m. The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" as leading "magi" to the birthplace of Jesus. Could this star, depicted in artwork for nearly 2,000 years, have been an astronomical event? A supernova? A comet? A planetary conjunction with great significance? Visitors can speculate and learn about the heavens and wonder as astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

-- “Two Small Pieces of Glass,” Tuesday, Dec. 18, 7 p.m. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was the first person to use the newly invented device to observe the sky. His two small pieces of glass revealed a universe that was far more complex than previously assumed. Telescopes have advanced considerably since Galileo's time. Humanity now has large observatories and even a couple in outer space. This program shares the way telescope development has helped us understand our place in space.

-- “Mind-Blowing Astronomy,” Friday, Dec. 21, 7 p.m. Stars the size of our solar system, time-warping black holes, giant voids of nothing -- these are just a few of the mind-boggling topics this program will explore. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- “The Center of Our Galaxy: Stars and Black Holes,” Saturday, Dec. 22, 11 a.m. Stars and black holes are two of the most fascinating objects we see in space -- both to casual observers and scientists. This show will explore how stars and black holes work, and how they affect the Milky Way galaxy. Visitors can stay after the program to make chromatography ornaments.

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

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)

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