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Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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UW Planetarium Offers Mysterious Programs in October

September 26, 2019
spiral galaxy
This image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the stars, gas and dust that make up the spiral galaxy Messier 74. Not visible in the image is the galaxy’s dark matter -- matter that is unseen but its gravitational pull is visible. Without dark matter’s strong gravitational influence, galaxies like this one would be flung apart. (Image courtesy of NASA)

In a nod to Halloween, October at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium offers a lineup of programs that range from the mysterious to the spooky.

“For October, we are going to delve into the mysterious. We’ve got shows on everything from black holes and alien planets to dark matter and ancient Egyptian astronomy,” says Jordan Turner, the planetarium’s interim coordinator. “Don’t miss out on our spooky Halloween-themed laser show Saturday, Oct. 12, and again on the 26th.”

Turner adds planetarium staff members also are excited to team up with the UW Geological Museum again for the Wyoming Rocks! event Saturday, Oct. 19. The event runs from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the museum, with free planetarium shows at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 

Friday night shows start at 8 p.m., and STAR Observatory star parties run from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Kid-themed planetarium shows are Saturdays at 11 a.m. The month also includes five Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $3 for students and $4 for nonstudents. Tickets 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 http://wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/ and clicking on “Purchase tickets online with a credit card.” Doors open 20 minutes before the show, where tickets will be sold if available. The planetarium, which seats 58, is located in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building.

The October planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “This Month’s Sky,” Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m. October brings spooky skies with new winter constellations, a full moon and two meteor showers to look for.

-- “The Power of Zero,” Friday, Oct. 4, 8 p.m. Orders of magnitude, the lens through which astrophysicists see the world, are hinged upon zero. This program will explore our universe one order of magnitude at a time, from the smallest of the small, to the entire universe as a whole. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public for a “star party” from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- Full-dome movie: “Dark Matter Mystery,” Tuesday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. It is known that approximately one-quarter of the universe is filled with a mysterious glue -- dark matter -- but scientists have no idea from what it is made. This show will look at why dark matter exists.

-- “You Are a Star,” Friday, Oct. 11, 8 p.m. This program tracks energy and matter throughout all of time and space to trace it right to you. Discover how and why you are a star.

-- “The Center of Our Galaxy,” Saturday, Oct. 12, 11 a.m. Stars and black holes are two of the most fascinating objects we see in space -- both to casual observers and scientists. This show will explore how stars and black holes work, and how they affect our lives.

-- “Fright Light,” Saturday, Oct. 12, 8 p.m. This Halloween-themed laser show will include psychedelic effects mixed with festive music. New animation and effects will be debuted to enhance the viewing experience. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

-- Full-dome movie: “Dawn of the Space Age,” Tuesday, Oct. 15, 7 p.m. From the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, visitors will be immersed in this historic reconstruction of man’s first steps into space.

 -- “Dust, Light, Dust,” Friday, Oct. 18, 8 p.m. Although stars aren’t alive, they are born, go through a metamorphosis and die much like a butterfly. Visitors can learn about the science behind the formation of stars, the various forms they take and their life cycle. The STAR Observatory on the rooftop of the Physical Sciences Building will be open to the public for a “star party” from 8:30-9:30 p.m. Weather permitting, telescopes will be set up to peer into the evening sky.

-- “Wyoming Rocks Presents: Exoplanets,” Saturday, Oct. 19, 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. This program will provide an overview of the history and methods used for finding planets outside our own solar system, and a look at some planets that already have been found. These shows are free and open to the public.

-- Full-dome movie: “Phantom of the Universe,” Tuesday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. This program follows the efforts of scientists around the world as they try to unlock the mystery of dark matter.

-- “Egyptian Archaeoastronomy,” Friday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m. This program will look at the skies as seen by the builders of the Great Pyramids, from their creation story in the sky to the legends associated with them.

-- “TBA,” Saturday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m. See www.wyomingspacegrant.org/planetarium/shows/ for updates.

-- “Fright Light,” Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 p.m. This Halloween-themed laser show will include psychedelic effects mixed with festive music. New animation and effects will be debuted to enhance the viewing experience. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

-- Full-dome movie: “Dark Matter Mystery,” Tuesday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m. It is known that approximately one-quarter of the universe is filled with a mysterious glue -- dark matter -- but scientists have no idea from what it is made. This show will look at why dark matter exists.

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

Contact Us

Institutional Communications

Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137

Laramie

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929

Email: cbaldwin@uwyo.edu

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