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UW Planetarium Will Offer New Films, Programs During April

March 25, 2021
photos of the planets and Pluto in a poster format
This photo, which is not to scale, shows the eight planets in our solar system and Pluto. (UW Planetarium Photo)

New movies and live talks on various astronomical subjects dot the program lineup for the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium during April.

“My idea for our Friday evening programs was to spread out a survey-level introduction of astronomy topics over the course of a month,” says Max Gilbraith, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Although each program stands on its own, by the end of the month, a repeat guest should walk away with a broad, qualitative understanding of modern astronomy.”

A new film and special live talk for audiences will be featured each week. The Saturday afternoon films are all different from the current March lineup, he says. The planetarium will be closed Wednesday, March 31, through Monday, April 5, for spring break.

Seating is limited, so tickets will be by reservation only. To get tickets or receive more information about programs, email or leave a voicemail and a callback phone number at (307) 766-6506. Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for students and those under 18. Cash or check is accepted at the door. The planetarium, which seats 58, is located in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building.

The April schedule is as follows:

-- “Meet the Planets,” Friday, April 9, 7 p.m. This live hourlong tour looks at the sun’s largest eight companions.

-- Full-dome movie: “Europe to the Stars,” Saturday, April 10, 2 p.m. This film takes the viewer on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world, revealing the science, history, technology and the people.

-- “Wyoming Skies,” Tuesdays, April 13 and 27, 7 p.m. This program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets and other celestial phenomena visible from Laramie for the season.

-- “Asteroids, Meteors and Comets,” Friday, April 16, 7 p.m. This live presentation illuminates the dazzling displays in the sky to mass extinctions; defines the small stuff in the solar system; and what scientists are doing about it.

-- Full-dome movie: “Mexican Archaeoastronomy,” Saturday, April 17, 2 p.m. This planetarium film shows how the Mexicans used the calendrical and astronomical knowledge of previous cultures to found the capital of their empire, Tenochtitlan. Vibrant colors, shapes and sounds transport the viewer to a culture that, to this day, still lives on in the hearts of the Mexican people.

-- “Search for Life,” Friday, April 23, 7 p.m. This live presentation presents a tour of Mars, Europa, Enceladus, extrasolar planets and more places that could harbor life, and how scientists are searching for them.

-- Full-dome movie: “Sunstruck!,” Saturday, April 24, 2 p.m. This planetarium film highlights heliophysics missions including SOHO, IRIS and SDO that reveal the sun, parts/layers, space weather and its impact on Earth. 

-- “Fate of the Universe,” Friday, April 30, 7 p.m. This live presentation on cosmology asks the questions: How was the universe formed? How is it changing? What future may it have? What is the true nature of our reality?

-- Full-dome movie: “Dawn of the Space Age,” Saturday, May 1, 7 p.m. From the launch of the first artificial satellite, Sputnik, to the magnificent lunar landings and privately operated space flights, the audience will be immersed and overwhelmed with this most accurate historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space. Who were these men and women who took part in these death-defying endeavors? Witness their drive, passion and perseverance to explore.

All programs are approximately an hour in length. As time allows, a portion of the show also may focus on a live sky tour or supporting information related to the film’s topic.

If you have a group larger than six, it is recommended to contact the planetarium for a private show, Gilbraith says. The rate for private shows is the same as ticket prices for public shows, he says.

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Bureau of Mines Building, Room 137


Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929


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