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Published October 29, 2019
November at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium offers a lineup of programs stargazers can be thankful for. Shows include various movies, programs about the moon and astronaut pioneers, and a laser show with music from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“This is a season of giving thanks, and it’s an opportune time to be grateful for the abundant beauty of the cosmos that surrounds us,” says Mark Reiser, the planetarium’s new coordinator. “Each night, we can see thousands of stars in our neighborhood of the Milky Way; we can observe planets orbiting our own host star; and we can detect the faint wisps of countless galaxies billions of light-years away. Indeed, the universe is full of marvels that can delight both the eye and mind alike.”
Friday night shows now start at 7 p.m., as daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 3. 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://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 November planetarium schedule is as follows:
-- “The Search for Terra Nova,” Friday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. This program probes the science and history of detecting these planets; the knowledge we have gained thus far; and, perhaps, the possibility of extending our reach to the stars. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public from 8-9 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.
-- “November’s Night Sky,” Tuesday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. Wyoming evenings become crisp at this time of year, and the transparency and clarity of the night sky ramp up. Enjoy the Andromeda Galaxy perched high overhead; the Seven Sisters rising in the East; and the complement of winter constellations beginning to show up in the early evening skies.
-- “You Are a Star,” Friday, Nov. 8, 7 p.m. This program tracks energy and matter throughout all of time and space to trace it right to you. Discover how and why you are a star.
-- “One Small Step,” Saturday, Nov. 9, 11 a.m. Astronauts, rovers and probes have all been essential pioneers in humanity’s exploration of our cosmic neighborhood. This program will honor them by celebrating the biggest names amongst these voyagers of deep space. This program is for children and families.
-- Full-dome movie: “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system and is orbited by eight planets, Pluto and so much more. What other cosmic objects make up our solar system? And where does the solar system end? This program looks beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover our solar system reaches farther than ever expected.
-- “Islands in the Cosmos,” Friday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. Our universe is a very big place, but it is sparsely populated by billions of collections of matter we once called “island universes.” Today, we call them galaxies, and each is a spectacle of gravitational elegance and visible splendor. This program delves into the distribution of galaxies, the expansion of the universe and the origin of the cosmos itself. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public from 8-9 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.
-- Full-dome movie: “Phantom of the Universe,” Tuesday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. From the journey of protons racing through the world’s largest particle collider in Europe to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent cosmos, this film takes the audience on an immersive journey in search of dark matter. The film is narrated by Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton.
-- “E.T. and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” Friday, Nov. 22, 7 p.m. Almost without exception, one cannot write good space-based science fiction without some kind of alien life; and yet, so far, we have not found evidence of extraterrestrial beings. Could intelligent life exist and be able to contact us? This program explores possibilities in our own solar system and beyond.
-- “Our Constant Companion,” Saturday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m. The moon is the Earth's constant companion, gracing our skies each month and providing stunning spectacles such as lunar eclipses. This program is for children and families.
-- “Laser Show,” Saturday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. Rock out with the Red Hot Chili Peppers under the planetarium dome, with psychedelic visuals bumping to the music.
For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium