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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.

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: The Leap Year - 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

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

Dark Matter Mystery

Dawn of the Space Age

Distant Worlds: Alien Life

Europe to the Stars

From Earth to the Universe

Hot and Energetic Universe

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System

Max Goes to the Moon

Mayan Archaeoastronomy

Mexican Archaeoastronomy

Out There: Extrasolar Worlds

Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter



The Sun: Our Living Star

Two Small  Pieces of Glass

Tycho to the Moon

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.

Free Planetarium Shows

Follow the links below to watch a feature length planetarium film for free!

To Space and Back 

Back to the Moon for Good 

Dark Matter Mystery 

Distant Worlds - Alien Life? 

Europe to the Stars 

From Earth to the Universe 

Hot and Energetic Universe 

Max Goes to the Moon 

Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds 

Phantom of the Universe 


The Sun, Our Living Star 

Two Small Piece of Glass - The Amazing Telescope

Photo of

Nova V838 Monocerotis

Contact Us

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Mailing address:

UW Planetarium

1000 E University Ave

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6506

Fax: 307-766-2652


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