Allen F. Blocher Planetarium


Public Programs

  • These programs are free of charge
  • The doors will open 30 minutes before shows unless stated otherwise
  • The Blocher Planetarium will be CLOSED July 28 - September 2.
  • The Pejsa Observatory will be CLOSED until the Fall of 2014.

Regular Summer Shows - Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.

Night sky shows on Mondays Evenings at 8 p.m.

 
Sky Quest
 
  
SHOWDATES: June 2, 4 
   
Come along with a young woman on her personal quest to find a special place in the night sky.  Starting with her childhood adventures then to the discovery of her “birthday star”, these experiences eventually led her to becoming an astronomer.  Finally she shares telescopic views of celestial objects.  Sky Quest is narrated by Roxann Dawson and is an entertaining and educational exploration of the night sky that appeals to family members of all ages.
 
  
 
More Than Meets The Eye 
 
 
SHOWDATES: June 16, 18, 23, 25 
 
 
Most astronomical pictures that we find in magazines or on TV are absolutely breathtaking.  However, these images are very different than what we see with a telescope.  So, what do the objects in our night sky really look like when we view them through a telescope or at the eyepieces of a pair of binoculars?  This show is designed to answer that question.  During the program, you will get an idea of the kind of objects in the night sky.  Images of objects will be portrayed that accurately reflects how you might see them first through a telescope, then compared to the observatory photos and spacecraft views.  Hopefully you’ll leave with a better appreciation of the wonders you can see and how they look from your own backyard. 
 
 
 
Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions 
 
     
SHOWDATES: June 30, July 2, 7, 9 
 
 
Were the Apollo visits to the moon actually a hoax?  Have aliens landed on Earth?  Can you tell your future from the stars?  Prepare to debunk and tackle pseudoscience head-on in this new planetarium show.  Based on the popular book and website by the same name, Bad Astronomy offers a unique and fun approach to learning about the cosmos.  Join the “Bad Astronomer” Phil Plait as he takes a critical look at popular myths and misconceptions to show visitors how science can be used to evaluate questionable claims.
 
 
 
Cosmic Colors 
 
 
SHOWDATES: July 14, 16, 21, 23
 
 
Cosmic Colors will take you on a wondrous journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.  Discover the reasons for color like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red.  Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye.  Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a black hole and then back to your doctor’s office.  You will even see the actual color of a dinosaur--based on recent evidence. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light!
 
 
THE PLANETARIUM WILL BE CLOSED DURING AUGUST 
 
 

Future Shows -

 
 
 
Aurora!
    
 
SHOWDATES: September 14, 21, 28,  October 5, 12  
 
The dancing lights of  dancing lights of the aurora borealis will be the topic of our first fall show.  The program starts by looking at some of the stories that natives of northern lands had to explain the curious glow that frequently lit up their northern skies.  Early cultures like the Inuit of Alaska, the Norse, and the Finnish all had different ways of interpreting these heavenly fires.  In more modern times, scientists and astronomers have developed a thorough understanding of these lights in the sky.  From Galileo, who named the aurora borealis, through Edmund Halley, and to Ben Franklin, who first proposed an association with the Earth's magnetic field, we follow our understanding of the formation and cause of the aurora.  Learn how the aurora is not only linked to the Earth's magnetic field but also to the activity of the Sun.  Solar storms and outbursts are the real source of the aurora.  Imagine countless streams of solar particles racing towards us on a collision course with our home world.  Learn what happens when these particles crash into our planet Earth, as they light up our skies with lights that, once seen, are never forgotten. me along with a young woman on her personal quest to find a special place in the night sky.Starting with her childhood adventures then to the discovery of her “birthday star”, these experiences eventually led her to becoming an astronomer.Finally she shares telescopic views of celestial objects.Sky Quest is narrated by Roxann Dawson and is an entertaining and educational exploration of the night sky that appeals to family members of all ages. 
 
 
 
 
 
The Night Skies of Spring - Mondays

SHOWDATES: SHOWDATES: March 31, April 7, 14, 21, 28, May 5
 
Showtimes 20:00 (8 p.m.)

As the seasons change, so does our view of the night sky.
This show takes a fairly in depth look at the stars, planets and constellations of the current night sky.