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UW Planetarium Will Explore ‘Hearts in the Sky’ During February

January 25, 2023
heart-shaped red nebula
The UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium will host a program titled “Hearts in the Sky” Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m. This photo is of the Heart Nebula in the constellation Cassiopeia. (UW Planetarium Photo)

The University of Wyoming Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium will put a spotlight on Valentine’s Day during February.

“We have a jam-packed schedule for the shortest month of the year,” says Max Gilbraith, the planetarium’s coordinator. “Celebrate Valentine’s Day as we host ‘Hearts in the Sky,’ a romantic look at the night sky, at 7 p.m. and follow it up with a lovesick playlist of rhythm and blues at 8:30 p.m. Feb. 14.”

Beginning in February, the planetarium will change its start times to 7 p.m. for evening programs for the remainder of the spring. Weather permitting, the planetarium will host an observing night for the comet C/2022 E3 Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. on the roof of the Physical Sciences Building, Gilbraith adds.

To get tickets or receive more information about programs, email planetarium@uwyo.edu 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 https://www.uwyo.edu/uwplanetarium/ticket.aspx. For a group larger than six, email the planetarium for a private show at https://uwyo.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bKuqIynOn7gFK2F. Tickets for private shows are the same as the public programs.

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

The February schedule is:

-- Wednesday, Feb. 1, 7 p.m.: Weather permitting, the planetarium will host an observing night for the comet C/2022 E3 on the roof of the Physical Sciences Building. Visitors will have the opportunity to look through a 16-inch STAR (Student Teaching and Research) Observatory telescope.

-- Friday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m.: “Leftovers! Asteroids, Comets, Meteors and Rings.” 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?

-- Saturday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.: “Europe to the Stars,” a full-dome movie. This film takes viewers on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world -- the European Southern Observatory -- revealing the science, history, technology and the people.

-- Saturday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: ‘The Dark Side of the Moon,’” a music-based light show. Enjoy “The Dark Side of the Moon” in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Friday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m.: “Science of Sci-Fi: ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’” This program will look at some of our favorite films, TV shows and media to discuss what they got right and wrong about the hard science. Viewers will see funny physics faux pas and groundbreaking visuals that advance the body of scientific knowledge.

-- Saturday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m.: “Seeing!,” a full-dome movie. The film follows the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before traveling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone’s retina. This film is narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

-- Saturday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Retro Hits,” a music-based light show. Enjoy a custom playlist of "out-of-this-world" music from top artists in genres of rock, indie, pop, electronic and more in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Tuesday, Feb. 14, 7 p.m.: “Hearts in the Sky.” This Valentine’s Day program will explore love. Hear the epic star myths of romance and betrayal, and the science about those far-away objects those myths describe.

-- Tuesday, Feb. 14, 8:30 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Rhythm and Blues,” a music-based light show. Enjoy a custom playlist of “out-of-this-world” music from top artists from 2000s’ R&B in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Friday, Feb. 17, 7 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies.” The program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

-- Saturday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m.: “The Sun: Our Living Star,” a full-dome movie. 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.

-- Saturday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Psychedelic Indie,” a music-based light show. Enjoy a custom playlist of “out-of-this-world” music from top artists in genres of rock, indie, pop, electronic and more in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Friday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.: “Keeping 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 through today.

-- Saturday, Feb. 25, 2 p.m.: “From Earth to the Universe,” a full-dome movie. This film takes the audience out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of myriad galaxies.

-- Saturday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Metal,” a music-based light show. Enjoy a custom playlist of “out-of-this-world” music from top artists in genres of rock, indie, pop, electronic and more in 5.1 surround sound. The 4K-resolution planetarium sky will become a canvas of color, patterns and movement with cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

-- Tuesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies.” The program provides an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

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

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