Skip to Main Content

Apply Now to the University of Wyoming apply now

UW Planetarium Gets New Coordinator, Restarts Programming This Month

February 4, 2020
photo of Pluto
The striking Sputnik Planitia on Pluto bears an uncanny resemblance to a heart shape, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Its shape is likely a result of the tidal force between Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. The gravitational dance between the bodies generates heat that powers ice volcanoes. Frozen lakes of nitrogen, methane geysers and towering mountains of water ice make up the surprising surface of Pluto. (UW Planetarium Photo)

After a quiet first month of the year, the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium is back in swing this February with a full month of programming and a new planetarium coordinator.

“I'm honored to announce our February lineup of shows as the new planetarium coordinator for the University of Wyoming,” says Max Gilbraith, who began his new position Jan. 21. “With seven years of experience at Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado-Boulder, this is only the beginning of exciting new content and engaging programs we will be offering the public in the near future.

“The Vaughan Planetarium is among a rare and elite class of planetarium that offers dynamic live science and entertainment presentations. I'm privileged to have inherited a talented staff and cutting-edge facility ready to fulfill our mission of science education and community outreach.”

Friday night shows now start at 8 p.m. Saturday’s schedule has moved from kid-themed planetarium shows in the morning to 2 p.m. family double features of full-dome movies and/or 8 p.m. music visualization shows. The month also includes two Tuesday night shows; they begin at 7 p.m. Because it is a leap year, there will be two programs presented Saturday, Feb. 29.

Tickets are $3 for students and $5 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.-5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased by going online at www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium 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 February planetarium schedule is as follows:

-- “You Are a Star,” Friday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m. Take a journey through space and time from the Big Bang 14 billion light years ago to the present day. This live presentation will track energy and matter from the first atoms, the stars that forged the elements inside us.

-- “Family Double Feature (full-dome movies),” Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m. “Two Small Pieces of Glass” and “Dawn of the Space Age” will be shown.

-- “Our Wyoming Sky,” Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m. Learn the stories of the constellations, their asterisms, the planets and what hidden objects can be found in the night sky with binoculars and home telescopes. Objects include the Pleiades star cluster, the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Orion Nebula stellar nursery, the Andromeda Galaxy and binary stars.

-- “Hearts of the Sky,” Friday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m. Love is in the air. Our night sky is rich in mythology relating the human condition to the stars. This Valentine’s Day, hear the epic star myths of romance and betrayal, and learn about the science about those far away.

-- “Family Double Feature (full-dome movies),” Saturday, Feb. 15, 2 p.m. “Max Goes to the Moon” and “From Earth to the Universe” will be shown.

-- “Liquid Sky: Pop,” Saturday, Feb. 15, 8 p.m. Enjoy a brand-new playlist of classic and contemporary pop hits set to the psychedelic visuals of “Milkdrop” and deep space journey rendered live on the 4k, 60fps dome.

-- “Dust, Light, Dust,” Friday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m. 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.

-- “Family Double Feature (full-dome movies),” Saturday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m. “Two Small Pieces of Glassand “Dawn of the Space Age” will be shown.

-- “Liquid Sky: Pop,” Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Enjoy a brand-new playlist of classic and contemporary pop hits set to the psychedelic visuals of “Milkdrop” and deep space journey rendered live on the 4k, 60fps dome.

-- “Our Wyoming Sky,” Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m. Learn the stories of the constellations, their asterisms, the planets and what hidden objects can be found in the night sky with binoculars and home telescopes. Objects include the Pleiades star cluster, the Crab Nebula supernova remnant, the Orion Nebula stellar nursery, the Andromeda Galaxy and binary stars.

 -- “Our Special Star,” Friday, Feb. 28, 8 p.m. Tour the solar system, including travel across all eight planets, the minor planets such as Pluto and the multitude of moons, comets, asteroids and other unique objects that makes our sun such a special place.

-- “Family Double Feature (full-dome movies),” Saturday, Feb. 29, 2 p.m. “Max Goes to the Moon” and “From Earth to the Universe” will be shown.

-- “Keeping Time: The Leap Year,” Saturday, Feb. 29, 8 p.m. In our modern world, cellphones and computers are sent radio messages from atomic clocks to maintain time. 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 to today.

For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium/schedule.html.

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)

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
UW Operators (307) 766-1121 | Contact Us | Download Adobe Reader

Accreditation | Virtual Tour | Emergency Preparedness | Employment at UW | Privacy Policy | Harassment & Discrimination | Accessibility Accessibility information icon