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UW Planetarium to Start Evening Programs One Hour Later Beginning in May

April 27, 2022
photo of bright objects in night sky
This composite image, from the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) Paranal Observatory in northern Chile, shows an exoplanet -- the red spot on the lower left -- orbiting the brown dwarf exoplanet known as 2M1207 (center). The UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium will host “Extrasolar Planets” Friday, May 13, at 8 p.m. (ESO Paranal Observatory Photo)

The University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium will start its evening programming an hour later beginning in May, and three new programs will be part of the month’s lineup.

“With spring coming to full swing and the sun setting later, we’ll be moving our evening programs a bit further into the evening, to 8 p.m.,” says Max Gilbraith, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Our hope is that, with more cooperative weather, we can resume doing regular public observing nights after the evening programs on Tuesday or Friday evenings. Our matinee films on Saturdays will remain at 2 p.m.”

May also will feature new Friday night programs about astrology, extrasolar planets and science fiction as depicted in the movies.

To get tickets or receive more information about programs, email planetarium@uwyo.edu or leave a voicemail and a call-back phone number at (307) 766-6506. Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for students, senior citizens, veterans, first responders and those under 18. Seating is free for children under 5.

Reservations or pre-purchase is not required, and walk-ins are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online with a credit card, reserved by email or voicemail, or purchased at the start of the show. Cash or check is accepted at the door. The planetarium, which seats 58, is in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis outside of designated ADA/wheelchair seating.

To pay for tickets with a credit card, go to https://www.uwyo.edu/uwplanetarium/ticket.aspx. For a group larger than six, email the planetarium for a private show at https://uwyo.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bKuqIynOn7gFK2F. Tickets for private shows are the same as the public programs.

A film and special live talk for audiences will be featured each week. All programs are approximately an hour in length. As time allows, a portion of the show also may focus on a live sky tour or supporting information related to the film’s topic.

The May schedule is:

-- Tuesday, May 3, 8 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies.” The program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

-- Friday, May 6, 8 p.m.: “Astrology.” This program looks at the origins of astrology. Visitors will learn how astrology has affected the world and why civilizations don’t depend on astrology today.

-- Saturday, May 7, 2 p.m.: “Europe to the Stars,” a full-dome movie. This film takes viewers on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world -- the European Southern Observatory -- revealing the science, history, technology and the people.

-- Saturday, May 7, 8 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Indie Rock,” a music-based light show. The program will feature a custom playlist of music from today’s top artists in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Friday, May 13, 8 p.m.: “Extrasolar Planets.” The program will explore planets that exist around other stars in our galaxy.

-- Saturday, May 14, 2 p.m.: “Out There: Extrasolar Worlds,” a full-dome movie. This film features the primitive science fiction of early civilizations; future space missions that will observe the universe in greater-than-ever detail; and the opportunity to travel to the surfaces and oceans of moons in our solar system.

-- Saturday, May 14, 8 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Pop,” a music-based light show. The program will feature a custom playlist of music from today’s top artists in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Tuesday, May 17, 8 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies.” The program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

 -- Friday, May 20, 8 p.m.: “Science of Sci-Fi.” This program explores what science fiction movies, such as “Star Wars” and “Armageddon,” got wrong and what the films could have done to get it right.

 -- Saturday, May 21, 2 p.m.: “Hot and Energetic Universe,” a full-dome movie. This documentary, with the use of immersive visualizations and real images, investigates the achievements of modern astronomy; the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories; the basic principles of electromagnetic radiation; and the natural phenomena related to high-energy astrophysics.

-- Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Throwbacks,” a music-based light show. The ’80s nostalgia program, described as a mix of “Stranger Things” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” will feature music from yesterday’s top artists in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- The planetarium will be closed May 27-31 for Memorial Day weekend.

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

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