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Show Catalog

Live Presentations

We have a diverse catalog of available live presentations that can be tailored to specific grade/age levels and lengths based on your needs. You can add and combine content from shows. This list is a just a starting point of possible presentations and we can develop new presentations based on your requests. *Some shows are from specific and visiting lecturers and require additional lead time and availability to reserve.

Live Show Titles and Descriptions:

Aurorae: Dancing Lights - For millennia our ancestors looked in awe at the "dawn in the north" or Aurora Borealis. What causes this display? where does it occur? Do other planets have aurorae also? We'll take a tour from the surface of the sun out to the magnetic poles of the solar system to find out!

Apollo to Artemis - See the history of lunar exploration and learn about the newest efforts to get humanity back to the moon. Artemis I is preparing for a launch in summer 2022 to launch the Orion capsule, without a crew, on a 25 day journey to the Moon and back.

Asrtrobiology - Is there anybody out there? The search for extra-terrestrial life continues as scientists scour the solar system for signs of ancient or modern signs of life, radio telescope listen for signs from E.T., and next generation telescopes explore the planets of other star systems. Are we alone in the universe?

Astronomical Women - Follow the history and discoveries of the great female astronomers, scientists, and engineers from Hypatia, Annie Cannon, to Vera Rubin, all the way to today!

Black Holes - Nature's mistake or portal to the unknown? Physics can let us speculate about the nature of these bizarre structures, but astronomer are turning an improving eye towards these mysterious and fascinating objects.

Constellations Across Cultures - Just as each of us interpret shapes in clouds differently – the stars have served as a canvas for the diverse peoples of the world to embed their cultural, historical, and mythological knowledge. The modern 88 constellations recognized by the International Astronomer's Union (IAU) paints over thousands of years of shared written and oral traditions. In learning the contrasting interpretations of the sky we will discover the shared experience of star-gazing and story-telling is a universal thread across cultures and generations.

Climate Science - Learn about glaciers, atmospheric science, meteorology, extreme weather events, anthropogenic change, and climate history.

Dust, Light, Dust - Although Stars aren't alive, they are born, change with age, eventually die, and pass on new elements to the next generation of stars. Learn about the science behind the formation of stars, the various forms they take, and the stellar graveyard, including white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes. 

Extreme Explorers - Humans can't survive most environments on Earth without purpose built clothing, shelter, and advanced food and water infrastructure, what about space? Probes, Landers, Rovers, and other craft require incredible engineering to survive the extreme radiation, heat, cold, weather, chemistry, and climates of deep space. We'll learn what it takes for robots and maybe people to endure in these places.

Frozen Worlds - The poles of Earth may contain frozen water but it's hardly the only place. Further from the Sun, it get's chillier still with carbon dioxide, methane, oxygen, and nitrogen freezing as we get to Mars, the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, and finally the minor planet Pluto. As the temperature drops in Wyoming let's learn how much colder it gets other places to feel warm!

Great American Eclipse of 2017 - Relive and celebrate the eclipse of 2017 that passed through Wyoming. We'll be sharing full-dome images of the eclipse captured from the ground and air, and explore the science of eclipses.

Hearts in the Sky - Love is in the air tonight! Our night sky is rich in mythology relating the human condition to the stars. This Valentines’ Day we will be exploring love. Join us to hear the epic star myths of romance and betrayal, and to hear about the science about those far-away objects those myths describe.

"Hotter than the Sun: The Atomic Age" Physicist and Astrophysicists were set loose to develop nuclear weapons and energy in the first half of the 20th century. Go beyond the headlines of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Cuban Missile Crisis, 3-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. We'll be exploring the history of nuclear weapons testing, power generation, and the modern risks and benefits of technology that either harnesses or unleashes energy hotter than the Sun!

Indigenous Astronomies of the American West - Discover the star knowledge of the west from ancient medicine wheels, petroglyphs, and recorded oral stories from elders. 

James Webb Space Telescope - The next generation space telescope is set to be launched later this year. The epic mission to send a tennis-court sized observatory past the moon will reveal the mysteries of the universe like never before. We will detail the exciting science objectives and the knuckle-biting engineering feats that have gone into our next eyes in the sky.

Keeping Time - In our modern world cellphones and computers are sent radio messages from atomic clocks to maintain time, but this was not always the case. Our ancestors were able to predict eclipses, the seasons, and the motion of the planets with primitive instruments and observations long before the invention of mechanical clocks, telescopes or other modern tools. Learn how the stars, planets, and Sun all served to calibrate the clocks of ancient peoples through to today.

Leftovers! Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, and Rings - We learn about the 8 major planets from a young age but what about everything else in the solar system? The little things out there have major impacts on the worlds around us. Locked inside them are the secrets of how the planets formed and life could have arose. We've learned about them from bright meteor streaks in the sky, fireballs, comet tails, craters. Now space missions have just begun exploring these trinkets like on asteroid Bennu and comet CG-67P. What's NASA doing to learn about and defend Earth from these celestial curiosities?

Mars - The red planet is host to many questions, did it used to be like Earth? Did it once harbor life? Could it still support life today? And is it a future home for humans. Landers, rovers, probes, and satellites have returned data to us for decades, and we have more clues everyday.

Meet the Planets - A tour of the sun's planets, moons. Learn the discoveries, exploration, and feats of technology that have probed the solar system.

NASA's Great Observatories -Hubble, Spitzer, Chandra, Compton, James Webb, great names in astronomy and great telescopes that see beyond the limited light that can pierce the atmosphere of Earth. You'll be amazed to see and learn what we can only see of space - from space!

Navigating the Stars - Whether it be storytelling or navigation, we have used the stars for a vast number of purposes throughout history. This show will examine some of the ways we have used the stars, and how those ways came to be. Come learn about how the stars can tell us the time, our location on Earth, and even our place in the universe!

Parker Solar Probe - "Parker Solar Probe Update" The Parker Solar Probe mission blazes along at space-record speeds that would get it from Earth to the Moon in under an hour, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe completed its 10th close approach to the Sun on Nov. 21, coming within 5.3 million miles (8.5 million kilometers) of the solar surface. The spacecraft will transmit science data from the encounter – largely covering the properties and structure of the solar wind as well as the dust environment near the Sun.

Pluto and the Kuiper Belt - Pluto was reclassified to a minor planet. Learn why Pluto was demoted, and observe the wonderful data and discoveries of the New Horizons mission to the farthest reaches of our solar system. What other icy worlds lie beyond Neptune?

Science of Sci-Fi - We'll be looking at some our favorite films, tv shows, and media to discuss what they got right and wrong on the hard-science. We'll see funny physics faux-pas and ground-breaking visuals that advancing the body of scientific knowledge.

Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life - Are we alone in the universe? Astronomers are using telescopes from ground and space to try and locate signs of life on other planets. Landers, rovers, and probes visit the scattered planets and moons of our system to hunt for extra-terrestrials. What should we expect to find? What is the most compelling evidence of aliens?

Star of the Magi* -  Learn about the heavens, wonder, and speculate with astronomer and UW Professor Dr. Chip Kobulnicky as he presents some of the celestial possibilities that may underlie the storied “star that rose in the East” leading the “magi” to the birthplace of Jesus.

Stellar Graveyard - White Dwarfs, Neutron Stars, Pulsars, Nova, Supernova, Planetary Nebulae ,and the other bizarre but beautiful objects that decorate the heavens.

Solar System Vacation - Pack your bags! don't forget your sunscreen, hat, glasses, and spacesuit! We'll be touring the most exciting and relaxing locations around the solar system. See giant ice geysers, lava lakes, aurorae, or watch the sunset on methane lakes on the bizarre moons and planets of the Sun.

Wyoming Skies - What’s up in the sky around Wyoming: stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers, and more.

Yellowstone to Enceladus - Wyoming's Yellowstone area was designated the first National Park over a hundred years ago, as a natural preserve and natural curiosity. Today millions flock to it's awesome displays of volcanic power as half the worlds known geysers lie within the park. A billion miles away on an icy moon of Saturn a similar power lies beneath the surface causing fantastic ice plumes to reach into space. Yellowstone's boiling and acidic hot pools harbor extreme forms of life, could Enceladus also? Despite the charm of Yellowstone National Park, is it really a ticking bomb? And what could we do to mitigate a super-volcano eruption? See Yellowstone park in full-dome and virtual reality photography!

You Are a Star! - Take a journey through space and time from the big bang 14 billion lightyears to the present day. We will track energy and matter from the first atoms, the stars that forged the elements inside us.

Full-Dome Films

We always recommend that part of, if not your full, planetarium experience should be a live presentation by our talented staff. The following films are also available by request for private shows, rentals, field trips, and other events.

Back to the Moon for Good The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon’s origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface.The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph This film highlights the current research of Cosmic Origin Spectrograph (C.O.S.) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, the last instrument installed by the NASA astronauts. C.O.S. is allowing us an unprecedented view into the vast spaces between galaxies which surrounds our own Milky Way. Join us in the exploration of this hidden universe as we decode the secrets to the origins of the cosmos. 

Dark Matter Mystery Dark Matter is a theoretical form of invisible mass, which is believed to be present in galaxies, but has never been seen or detected. You've probably heard of it before, as it makes up a large part of the physics you find in textbooks. But how can something that's never been seen have so much scientific confidence? Furthermore, why can't we see dark matter to begin with? And if we can't see it, how do we know that it is really there? And if it's not there, what are the alternative ideas? These are the questions we will be aiming to answer, as we dive into the Dark Matter mystery.

Dawn of the Space Age From the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights. Be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historic reconstruction of Man’s first steps into space. Who were these Men and Women that took part in these death defying endeavours? Witness their drive, their passion, and their perseverance to explore, in Dawn of the Space Age.

Distant Worlds: Alien Life Is a beautiful planetarium film exploring one of the most enduring questions of humankind — are we alone?For millennia our ancestors watched the stars, questioning the origin and nature of what they saw. Still today we ask these questions, knowing that the Universe is a vast place filled with billions and billions of stars and planets — but yet, Earth is the only planet we know for sure to be inhabited.

Europe to the Stars takes the viewer on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world, revealing the science, the history, the technology and the people. Discover the European Southern Observatory in a story of cosmic curiosity, courage and perseverance; a story of observing a Universe of deep mysteries and hidden secrets; and a story of designing, building and operating the most powerful ground-based telescopes on the planet. The movie focuses on the essential aspects of an astronomical observatory, while offering a broader view of how astronomy is done. From site-testing to locate the best places in the world for observing the sky, to how telescopes are built and what mysteries of the Universe astronomers are revealing.

From Earth to the Universe - This stunning, 30-minute voyage through space and time conveys, through sparkling sights and sounds, the Universe revealed to us by science. Viewers can revel in the splendour of the worlds in the Solar System and our scorching Sun. From Earth to the Universe takes the audience out to the colourful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of myriad galaxies.

Hot and Energetic Universe The planetarium documentary “The Hot and Energetic Universe” presents with the use of Immersive Visualisations and real images the achievements of the modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics.

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System This fulldome and flat-screen planetarium show follows the creation of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft, giving audiences an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of the boundary of our Solar System. Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, audiences will hear from the scientists and engineers that developed the IBEX mission and created the spacecraft, and get the latest updates on the mission's discoveries. 

Max Goes to the Moon Max (the dog) and a young girl named Tori take the first trip to the Moon since the Apollo era. Along the way, the story sets the stage for the more sophisticated science of the “Big Kid Box” sidebars, which cover topics including “Phases of the Moon,” “Wings in Space?,” and “Frisbees and Curve Balls on the Moon” — all thoughtfully explained so that grownups and children can learn together about science. Toward the end, Max and Tori’s trip proves so inspiring to people back on Earth that all the nations of the world come together to build a great Moon colony from which “the beautiful views of Earth from the Moon made everyone realize that we all share a small and precious planet.”

Mayan Archaeoastronomy In a feast of colours and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of 6 Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus.

Mexican Archaeoastronomy Through impressive immersive scenarios, "Mexica Archaeoastronomy: between space and time" illustrates the important role played by astronomical observation for the evolution of pre-Hispanic cultures in central Mexico. The Mexicas used the calendrical and astronomical knowledge inherited by their predecessor cultures to found the capital of their empire: Tenochtitlan. Vibrant colors, shapes and sounds transport the viewer to oneof the most important cultures that, to this day, still lives in the heart and skin of the Mexican people.

Out There: Extrasolar Worlds - For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter The show reveals the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.” It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.

Seeing! Follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before travelling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone's retina. This fulldome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain. Funded through a generous grant from ZEISS, the show is narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Sunstruck! Travel back to the beginning of time and experience the birth of the Sun. Discover how it came to support life, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away. This NASA funded fulldome planetarium show is available for free to planetariums worldwide.

The Sun: Our Living StarThe Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilisations. Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined.Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive fulldome format.

Two Small  Pieces of Glass Produced to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages. The film traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's modifications to a child's spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. It explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.

Tycho to the Moon Kids love Tycho! The dog that doesn’t just howl at the moon—he goes there! Blast off on an amazing ride with Tycho and his young American friends, Ruby and Michael. Learn about night and day, space travel, phases of the Moon, and features of the lunar surface. Take a close-up look at the Sun, see Tycho play in zero gravity, witness Earth from space, and watch meteors shoot across the night sky.

Liquid-Sky Music Shows

Enjoy a custom playlist of "out-of-this-world" music from top artists in genres of rock, indie, pop, electronic, and more in 5.1 surround as the 4k resolution planetarium sky melts and becomes a canvas of color, patterns, and movement with our cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent. You can submit and request your own playlists for private programs and parties.

Online Shows

We offer virtual and online shows via Zoom, Hangout, or other meeting/streaming software for those unable to join us in-person on campus for shows. Contact us to have a live astronomer and virtual planetarium content in your classroom, home, or other venue.

Photo of

Nova V838 Monocerotis


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Department of Physics and Astronomy

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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6506

Fax: 307-766-2652

Email: planetarium@uwyo.edu

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