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Published March 26, 2019
Visits from two international planetarians and a new full-dome movie that chronicles the history of man’s exploration of space will highlight programs at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium during April.
“Join us this April at the UW planetarium to celebrate the future of space exploration and the history of mankind’s desire to gaze toward the heavens,” says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. “During the second weekend of April, we invite two special guest planetarians to present their country’s history and culture. Paul Taylor presents ‘Aboriginal Skies’ Friday, April 12 (a free presentation), and Guillermo Marranghello will be presenting Brazil’s unique astronomical mythology Saturday, April 13, at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.”
The planetarium will switch its Friday night shows to summer hours in April. Friday night shows will now start at 8 p.m., and STAR Observatory tours will run from 9-10 p.m. Kid-themed planetarium shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes five Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for children, and kids 5 and under are admitted free. 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://wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/ 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 April planetarium schedule is as follows:
-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, April 2, 7 p.m. This program looks at constellations, meteor showers and visible planets.
-- “Space, the Final Frontier,” Friday, April 5, 8 p.m. In the last century, the idea of space flight went from the stuff of science fiction to reality. We have put men on the moon, built permanent space stations and sent out countless probes to explore our solar system. This program will explore the history of space flight, from Apollo to the International Space Station, and the future envisioned by NASA, SpaceX and thousands of space scientists everywhere. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 9-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.
-- Full-Dome Movie Double Feature: “Seeing” and “Cosmic Origins Spectrograph,” Tuesday, April 9, 7 p.m. During “Seeing,” ride a photon from its creation and journey across the galaxy to your mind’s eye. From there, witness the conversion to an electro-chemical impulse that travels the neural pathways of the brain to create the image your brain sees. “Cosmic Origins Spectrograph” highlights the current research aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Cosmic Origins Spectrograph allows an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between galaxies, which surround the Milky Way.
-- “Aboriginal Skies: Land of the Lightning People,” Friday, April 12, 8 p.m. Paul Taylor, an Australian storyteller and educator, explores the creation story and ancient rock art describing aboriginal beliefs about the heavens. Visitors will discover the sky the way the Wardaman view it, based on research done with Bill Yidumduma Harney, senior elder of the Wardaman people of the Northern Territory in Australia. This presentation is free.
-- “Brazilian Indigenous Constellations,” Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Guillermo Marranghello, who will be visiting from Planetário da Unipampa in Brazil, will make a presentation on Brazil’s astronomy, stargazing and mythologies.
“I’m going to present some similarities and differences between the Wyoming sky and the sky from the very south of Brazil, where I live,” Marranghello says. “Then, I’m going to present Brazilian folk stories and some Indian representations about constellations, lunar phases and the myths about the beginning of the world.”
-- Full-Dome Movie: “Dawn of the Space Age,” Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m. From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, this film accurately reconstructs man’s first historic steps into space.
-- “The Cosmic Cooking Show,” Friday, April 19, 8 p.m. Visitors will embark on a grand cosmic cooking show, discovering some of the most important ingredients, or elements, and recipes, or chemical reactions, in our universe. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 9-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.
-- Full-Dome Movie: “Dawn of the Space Age,” Tuesday, April 23, 7 p.m. From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, this film accurately reconstructs man’s first historic steps into space.
-- “Don’t Feed the Geysers,” Friday, April 26, 8 p.m. Yellowstone National Park is a Wyoming treasure packed with adventure and discoveries to be made, but it also is a place we have to take care of. This program will explore a brief history of Yellowstone National Park, the marvels it contains and some things to know before your next visit. After the program, visitors can stay to participate in volcanic eruption experiments.
-- “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m. Have you ever wondered where stars come from and what happens at the end of their life cycles? What are they made of or why some are different colors? How do you recognize them in the sky, and why are they important to astronomy? This program will explore the answers to these stellar questions.
-- Full-Dome Movie: “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, April 30, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by planets, Pluto, asteroids and more. But where does the solar system end? This full-dome movie looks beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches farther than we could have ever imagined.
For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/.