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Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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Four New Programs Dot April Planetarium Schedule at UW

March 29, 2018
photo of spring constellations
The spring constellations are patterns of stars visible after sunset in March, April and May. First, follow the curve of the handle of the Big Dipper (top right image) and continue that curve down to a bright red star in Bootes, which looks like an ice cream cone (the top left of this cluster of constellations). Continue a straight line down to another bright star in the constellation Virgo (bottom left image). Finally, find Leo the Lion (bottom right) by imagining that you are pouring milk into the Big Dipper. However, there is a hole in the bucket. All the milk would fall into Leo's head, which resembles a backwards question mark. (UW Planetarium Photo)

During April, visitors to the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium can explore two new programs on black holes; one on Galileo’s impact on astronomy; and another that explores the cosmos through time.

“The days are getting longer; a new set of constellations appear just after sunset; and our first visible meteor shower of the season all occur this month,” says Samantha Ogden, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Additionally, we have enjoyed creating new and exciting live planetarium shows for our Friday nights and Saturday mornings.” 

Kid-themed shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes four Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets cost $3 for students and $4 for non-students, and 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 www.uwyo.edu/physics/ and clicking on “Planetarium Schedule.” Doors open 20 minutes before each 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 3, 7 p.m. As the months and seasons change in Wyoming, new astronomical events occur in the nighttime sky. No matter what time of year, there is always something to see after the sun goes down. From constellations to meteor showers to visible planets, this program acts as a guide to these remarkable events and where to find them.

-- “Ever Hungry,” Friday, April 6, 8 p.m. Black holes are some of the most famous and least understood things in space. However, the little we do know about black holes sounds more like science fiction than science fact. For example, we cannot see black holes because they are singular points in space, and their gravity is so strong that nothing can escape them, not even light. This new program will introduce visitors to the theories of how these monsters form and evolve, all while devouring surrounding matter as ravenous titans of gravity. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.                  

-- Full-dome movie: “Dark Matter Mystery,” Tuesday, April 10, 7 p.m. A mysterious glue -- dark matter -- fills about one-quarter of the universe. We know that it is out there, but have no idea of what materials it is composed. This full-dome planetarium show takes visitors on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. Visitors will see why we know that dark matter exists, and how this is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for dark matter, with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the dark matter mystery?

-- “Aboriginal Skies,” Friday, April 13, 8 p.m. Paul Taylor, an Australian storyteller and educator, presents a program that 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.

-- “Exploring the Cosmos Through Time,” Saturday, April 14, 11 a.m. Every once in a while, you may hear that the universe is old. How old is it, and has it always looked like it does now? Current theories say that the universe is very old -- very, very old. Just like people, it has grown and changed since its birth at the Big Bang. This new program will explore the universe as it has evolved since the Big Bang. Traveling forward through time, visitors will look at the history of the universe, which includes the formation of galaxies; the creation of our solar system and Earth; and an exploration of the timeline in which these events have occurred. After the show, the existence of the universe will shrink to a manageable time-scale: one calendar year. If the Big Bang happened Jan. 1, what day of the year do you think the Earth formed?

-- Full-dome movie: “Dark Matter Mystery,” Tuesday, April 17, 7 p.m. A mysterious glue -- dark matter -- fills about one-quarter of the universe. We know that it is out there, but have no idea of what materials it is composed. This full-dome planetarium show takes visitors on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. Visitors will see why we know that dark matter exists, and how this is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for dark matter, with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the dark matter mystery?

-- “Into the Wide Blue Yonder,” Friday, April 20, 8 p.m. Humans, despite our many differences, experience emotion roughly the same. Love, anger, joy and sadness are just a few examples. Wanderlust is another one of these many feelings, and it led our ancestors to cross the continents and oceans. This same wanderlust now turns our gaze to the heavens, probing outward with scientific instruments on the Earth’s surface, in near-Earth orbit and beyond to the outskirts of the solar system. This program will allow visitors to give into this wanderlust to explore the solar system, and learn about the groundbreaking scientific instruments developed in the past century and in the future to come. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public 8-10 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- Full-dome movie: “Dark Matter Mystery,” Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m. A mysterious glue -- dark matter -- fills about one-quarter of the universe. We know that it is out there, but have no idea of what materials it is composed. This full-dome planetarium show takes visitors on the biggest quest of contemporary astrophysics. Visitors will see why we know that dark matter exists, and how this is one of the most challenging and exciting searches science has to offer. Join the scientists on their hunt for dark matter, with experiments in space and deep underground. Will they be able to solve the dark matter mystery?

-- “Through the Eyes of Galileo,” Friday, April 27, 8 p.m. Although he did not invent the telescope, Galileo has gone down in history as the astronomer who first aimed one at the night sky. What he observed forever changed our view of outer space and the Earth’s place in it. With a simple telescope, an eye for detail and incredible patience, Galileo made grand accomplishments that took a leap forward for the science of astronomy. This new program will walk through his life and astronomical accomplishments to discover how they have made an impact on modern astronomy.

-- “The Center of Our Galaxy: Stars and Black Holes,” Saturday, April 28, 11 a.m. If you go out on a clear evening and look up, you will see thousands of stars. However, there is something amazing that you will not see: a black hole. This new program will explore the nature of stars and black holes, as well as how they affect our lives. After the show, visitors will celebrate spring and, hopefully, the warmer weather that it brings with liquid nitrogen ice cream.

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

Find us on Facebook (Link opens a new window) Find us on Twitter (Link opens a new window)

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