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UW Planetarium November Schedule Includes Program About Yellowstone Supervolcano

November 3, 2021
one side show a moon of Saturn, the other a geyser at Yellowstone
Enceladus (left), an icy moon of Saturn, and Yellowstone National Park both have natural geysers that eject boiling hot water. Visitors will learn about both during the program “Yellowstone to Enceladus” Friday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium. (UW Planetarium Photo)

A program on Yellowstone National Park being a potential supervolcano will highlight the schedule at the University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium this month.

“Our November schedule will include a diverse set of new and returning programs. Presentations about the ‘leftovers’ of the solar system, the origin of life and Wyoming’s own supervolcano, Yellowstone, will round out the live shows,” says Max Gilbraith, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Afternoon movie programs will look at the sun and high-energy physics of the cosmos. We are avoiding having any shows during home football games, so there will be no programs Nov. 6 and 27. Additionally, we will be closed the week of Thanksgiving.”

To get tickets or receive more information about programs, email or leave a voicemail and a call-back phone number at (307) 766-6506. Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for students, senior citizens, veterans, first responders and those under 18. Seating is free for children under 5.

Reservations or pre-purchase is not required, and walk-ins are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online with a credit card, reserved by email or voicemail, or purchased at the start of the show. Cash or check is accepted at the door. The planetarium, which seats 58, is in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis outside of designated ADA/wheelchair seating.

To pay for tickets with a credit card, go to For a group larger than six, email the planetarium for a private show at Tickets for private shows are the same as the public programs.

A film and special live talk for audiences will be featured each week.

The November schedule is:

-- “Leftovers! Asteroids, Comets, Meteors and Rings,” Friday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. From a young age, we learn about the eight major planets. But what about everything else in the solar system, including bright meteor streaks in the sky, fireballs, comet tails and craters. Space missions have just begun exploring the asteroid Bennu and comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. What is NASA doing to learn about and defend Earth from these celestial curiosities?

-- “Wyoming Skies,” Tuesday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m. This program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

-- “You Are a Star!,” Friday, Nov. 12, 7 p.m. Take a journey through space and time, from the Big Bang 14 billion light-years ago to the present day. This program will track energy and matter from the first atoms, the stars that forged the elements inside us.

 -- Full-dome movie: “The Sun: Our Living Star,” Saturday, Nov. 13, 2 p.m. The sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all of the planets combined. Viewers will discover the secrets of the sun and experience never-before-seen images of its violent surface in immersive full-dome format.

-- “Yellowstone to Enceladus,” Friday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m. Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park was designated the first national park over 100 years ago. Today, millions flock to its displays of volcanic power as half of the world’s known geysers lie within the park. A billion miles away -- on an icy moon of Saturn -- a similar power lies beneath the surface, causing fantastic ice plumes to reach into space. Yellowstone’s boiling and acidic hot pools harbor extreme forms of life. Could Enceladus as well? Despite the charm of Yellowstone National Park, is it really a ticking bomb? And what can we do to mitigate a supervolcano eruption there?

-- Full-dome movie: “Hot and Energetic Universe,” Saturday, Nov. 20, 2 p.m. This documentary, with the use of immersive visualizations and real images, investigates the achievements of modern astronomy; the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories; the basic principles of electromagnetic radiation; and the natural phenomena related to high-energy astrophysics.

-- “Wyoming Skies,” Tuesday, Nov. 30, 7 p.m. The program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

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.

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