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UW Planetarium Offers Variety of Shows in December

November 26, 2019
photograph of star cluster forming the Pleiades
In December, the Pleiades star cluster can be found low in the east, just after sunset for Laramie viewers. Located inside the constellation of Taurus, the star cluster can be seen very high in the sky after midnight. (NASA Photo)

December at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium offers a full lineup of programs.

“At this time of year, we experience the changing of the seasons -- accompanied by chillier temperatures and crisp night sky viewing,” says Mark Reiser, the planetarium’s coordinator. “This month, the annual parade of winter constellations begins to take center stage, delighting viewers with the bright gems of Orion, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Canis Major and Canis Minor, among others.”

Friday night shows start at 7 p.m. STAR Observatory sky viewings run from 8-9 p.m. Kid-themed planetarium shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes three Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $3 for students and $4 for nonstudents. Tickets 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 http://www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium and clicking on “Purchase tickets online with a credit card.” Doors open 20 minutes before the 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:

-- “December’s Night Sky,” Tuesday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. This program guides viewers through the night sky during December. In the east, the hero Perseus holds strong in the sky, providing a trip into the adventures of the Greek heroes. In the west, some of the brightest stars and most recognizable constellations are coming into view.

-- “Aboriginal Skies,” Friday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. Learn about the night sky as seen through the lens of Australia's aboriginal peoples. Special guest presenter Paul Taylor will discuss how they view the heavens and what stories they see unfold in the skies above.

-- “A Special Star,” Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. Eight very unique planets orbit around a special star. Come learn about the planets and objects that make up our solar system. In the process, learn why our sun is such a special star.

-- “Laser Holidays,” Saturday, Dec. 7, 7 p.m. Celebrate the holidays with festive music and hypnotic visuals. This program includes mix of fun music and entertaining effects.

-- Full-dome movie: “Dawn of the Space Age,” Tuesday, Dec. 10, 7 p.m. From the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, visitors will be immersed in this historic reconstruction of man’s first steps into space.

 -- “Star of the Magi,” Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" that led the "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? Astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents some celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

-- “Star of the Magi,” Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. The book of Matthew describes a "star that rose in the East" that led the "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? Astronomer Chip Kobulnicky presents some celestial possibilities that may underlie this storied event. 

-- “December’s Night Sky,” Tuesday, Dec. 17, 7 p.m. This program guides viewers through the night sky during December. In the east, the hero Perseus holds strong in the sky, providing a trip into the adventures of the Greek heroes. In the west, some of the brightest stars and most recognizable constellations are coming into view.

-- “Constellations Across Cultures,” Friday, Dec. 20, 7 p.m. A detailed look at the constellations and how they are depicted differently across different cultures.

-- “Laser Holidays,” Saturday, Dec. 21, 11 a.m. Celebrate the holidays with festive music and hypnotic visuals. This program includes mix of fun music and entertaining effects.

For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to http://www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium/schedule.html.

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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