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Published June 29, 2022
A new program at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium during July will separate the science from the science fiction in the 1996 movie “Twister.”
The film, which stars Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton, follows a team of storm chasers that continuously puts itself in the crosshairs of extremely violent tornadoes.
“The planetarium has a fun range of shows this July to entertain and educate the locals and visitors to Laramie and UW,” says Max Gilbraith, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Our new unique show for the month will be a new iteration of ‘Science of Sci-Fi’ with a screening of ‘Twister’ July 15, with live commentary from a Ph.D. meteorologist and storm chaser.”
To get tickets or receive more information about programs, email email@example.com 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 July schedule is:
-- Friday, July 1, 8 p.m.: “Search for Extraterrestrial Life.” Astronomers use telescopes from ground and space in an attempt to locate signs of life on other planets. Landers, rovers and probes visit the scattered planets and moons of our system to hunt for extraterrestrials.
-- Saturday, July 2, 2 p.m.: “Distant Worlds: Alien Life?,” a full-dome movie. This film explores one of the most enduring questions of humankind: Are we alone?
-- Saturday, July 2, 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, July 8, 8 p.m.: “Stellar Graveyard.” This program explores white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, nova, supernova, planetary nebulae and other bizarre but beautiful objects that decorate the heavens.
-- Saturday, July 9, 2 p.m.: “The Hot and Energetic Universe,” a full-dome movie. This 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, July 9, 8 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Psychedelic Indie Rock,” a music-based light show. The program will feature a custom playlist of “out-of-this-world” music from artists such as Tame Impala, MGMT, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, STRFKR and more 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, July 15, 8 p.m.: “Science of Sci-Fi: Twister (1996).” Philip Bergmaier, a postdoctoral research associate in the UW Department of Physics and Astronomy, as well as a meteorologist and storm chaser, will break down the good and the bad of the classic tornado movie.
-- Saturday, July 16, 2 p.m.: “Seeing!,” a full-dome movie. The film follows the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before traveling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone’s retina. This film is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
-- Saturday, July 16, 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, July 22, 8 p.m.: “James Webb Space Telescope: First Color Pictures.” This program will look at the epic mission to send a tennis court-sized observatory past the moon and reveal the mysteries of the universe.
-- Saturday, July 23, 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, July 23, 8 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: EDM,” a music-based light show. The program will feature a playlist of classic and contemporary electronic hits set to the psychedelic visuals of MilkDrop and deep space journey in 5.1 surround sound. Featured artists include DeadMau5, Daft Punk and more. 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, July 29, 8 p.m.: “Yellowstone to Enceladus.” This program explores and compares the volcanic power of the geysers under Yellowstone National Park to ice plumes beneath the surface of a moon of Saturn.
-- Saturday, July 30, 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, July 30, 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.
For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium/schedule.html.