UW Planetarium

The heart-shaped Sputnik Planitia is an ice-covered region on the surface of Pluto.

The University of Wyoming’s Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium recently released its August schedule of shows exploring the outer reaches of space.

Highlighting the month will be a celebration of the Perseid meteor shower and another anniversary of the reclassification of Pluto.

All programs at the UW Physical Sciences Building are about an hour in length. Doors open about 15 minutes ahead of the show time. Seating is first-come, first-served outside of designated ADA/wheelchair seating.

Tickets are $5 for the general public, $3 for UW students, staff/faculty, veterans, first responders or children. Seating is free for children under 5. Reservations or pre-purchase is not required; walk-ins are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online with a credit card, reserved via email or voicemail, or patrons can walk in and buy tickets before the start of the show.

To buy tickets online, ad-blocker may need to be disabled and/or enable pop-ups. Online ticket sales close at 4 p.m. the day of for Tuesday shows. Friday and Saturday shows close online sales at 4 p.m. Friday. If online sales are closed, arrive and pay in person.

To reserve tickets, or for more information, contact the planetarium via email at planetarium@uwyo.edu or leave a voicemail at 307-766-6506 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. If leaving a voice message, it will forward to email, and the planetarium staff will return calls as soon as possible. If a voicemail is not left, return calls could be delayed.

For large groups, or those who are unable to attend a public show, contact the planetarium for a private show.

Saturday, 2 p.m., “From Earth to the Universe”

This stunning, 30-minute voyage through space and time conveys, through sparkling sights and sounds, the universe revealed to us by science.

Viewers can revel in the splendor of the worlds in the solar system and our scorching sun. From Earth to the Universe takes the audience out to the colorful birthplaces and burial grounds of stars, and still farther out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, the audience will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us to probe ever deeper into the universe.

Aug. 13, 7 p.m., “Wyoming Skies — Perseid Special”

What’s up in the sky around Wyoming: stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and more. Focus on Perseid shower (peak Aug. 11-13) and its parent, Halley’s Comet.

Aug. 14, 2 p.m., “Hot and Energetic Universe”

High-energy astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes in the hot and violent universe.

This science also probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. Finally, high-energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our sun, which emit copious amounts of high-energy radiation.

Aug. 20, 7 p.m., “Exploration of Jupiter”

As the most massive object besides the sun in the solar system, Jupiter is a necessary drive-by for every mission to the outer solar system. Since Galileo first recorded the moons of this planet centuries ago, we’ve since discovered that each is as varied and interesting as the planets from one another. We’ll see the historic data from Jupiter, the latest from the Juno mission and the plans for future probes like the Europa Clipper.

Aug. 21, 2 p.m., “Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe”

In a feast of colors and sounds, Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour of six Mayan temples: San Gervasio, Chichen Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Palenque and Bonampak, where the spectator dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the sun, the moon and Venus.

Aug. 24, 7 p.m., “Wyoming Skies”

What’s up in the sky around Wyoming: stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and more.

Aug. 27, 7 p.m. “Pluto and the Kuiper Belt”

Aug. 24 is the date that Pluto was reclassified to a minor planet. Learn why Pluto was demoted, and observe the wonderful data and discoveries of the New Horizons mission to the farthest reaches of our solar system. What other icy worlds lie beyond Neptune?

Aug. 28, 2 p.m., “The Sun: Our Living Star”

Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format. The UW team has worked with some of the most talented planetarium producers to bring you this visually striking planetarium show about the most important star in our lives.

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