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November UW Planetarium Schedule Includes Programs on Pluto, Aboriginal Beliefs of Sky

November 1, 2018
stars in the night sky
This is a panoramic image of the center of the Milky Way galaxy as seen from the Southern Hemisphere. This month, programs at the UW Planetarium take a close look at images like this -- not just as scientists see them, but through the eyes of artists and ancient cultures. (UW Planetarium Photo)

Pluto, movies and Aboriginal beliefs about the heavens are subjects of some of the programs at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium during November.

Kid-themed planetarium shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes four Tuesday night shows and a special Thursday night show; 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.

Winter hours begin this month, with Friday night shows now starting at 7 p.m. and STAR Observatory tours running from 8-9:30 p.m. The planetarium will be closed Friday, Nov. 23, and Saturday, Nov. 24, to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend.

The November planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “Archaeoastronomy,” Friday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. This program looks at constellations, meteor showers and visible planets. Archaeoastronomy is the fusion of two seemingly different fields, which happen to be very similar in purpose. This program will explore ancient wonders in the study of astronomy and attempt to understand their purpose and the people who left them. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public from 8-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m. This program looks at constellations, meteor showers and visible planets.

-- “The Art of Space,” Friday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. Humanity historically has gazed at the cosmos and seen a giant tapestry but, recently, science has dominated the way we look to the heavens. This program looks at space not as the scientific curiosity, but as the artistic inspiration.

-- “Past Pluto: Exploring the Supermassive,” Saturday, Nov. 10, 11 a.m. Many people are familiar with the solar system, but what lies beyond is much more mysterious. From nebulas left by exploded stars to supermassive black holes at the center of our galaxy, this program will explore the colossal objects outside our solar system. Visitors can stay after the program to participate in a “Nebula in a Jar” activity.

 -- Full-dome movie, “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by planets, Pluto, asteroids and more. But, where does the solar system end? This full-dome movie looks beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches farther than we could have ever imagined. 

-- “Aboriginal Skies: Land of the Lightning People,” Thursday, Nov. 15, 7 p.m. Paul Taylor, an Australian storyteller and educator, 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.

-- “Aboriginal Skies: Land of the Lightning People,” Friday, Nov. 16, 7 p.m. Paul Taylor, an Australian storyteller and educator, 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. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public from 8-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- Full-dome movie, “IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System,” Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7 p.m. The sun lies at the center of our solar system, and it is orbited by planets, Pluto, asteroids and more. But, where does the solar system end? This full-dome movie looks beyond the orbit of Pluto to discover that our solar system reaches farther than we could have ever imagined. 

-- “Two Small Pieces of Glass,” Tuesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. Galileo did not invent the telescope, but he was the first person to use the newly invented device to observe the sky. His two small pieces of glass revealed a universe that was far more complex than previously assumed. This program shares the way telescope development has helped us understand our place in space.

-- “UW Society of Physics Students’ Planetarium Movie Event,” Friday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. The Society of Physics Students hosts a free movie event at the UW Planetarium. For more information, go to www.wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium.

For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/.

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