Allen F. Blocher Planetarium


Public Programs

  • These programs are free of charge.
  • The doors will open 20 minutes before the shows.  

 

  
Spring SHOWS 
 
 
The Night Skies of the Winter/SpringMonday at 8 p.m.

SHOWDATES: January 25
                     February 1, 8, 15, 22, 29        
                     March 7, 14, 28                      (No show on March 21 - Spring Break)
                     April 4, 11, 18, 25                      
                     May 2, 9
 
Showtimes at 20:00 (8 p.m.)

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

If the skies are clear following this planetarium program we open the Arthur J. Pejsa observatory to allow visitors an opportunity to view objects in the real night sky.
 
 
 
JOURNEY TO THE STARS - Sunday at 2 p.m.
 
SHOWDATES: January 24, 31
                     February 7, 14, 21 (canceled due to technical problems), 28
                     March 6, 13                      (No shows on March 20, 27 - Spring Break) 
 
 
Did you ever wonder what types of objects make up our vastly large universe? Or how some things you see in the night sky could be explained? If so, this show is for you. We will take a look at how astronomers study the heavens, mainly with the use of different kinds of telescopes. Using these huge light collectors, they have been able to see heavenly objects that inspire wonder and delight. Throughout the show, we will take a survey of the known universe. We answer several important questions such as, “How big is our solar system? How big is the universe? What are stars like? Where are the other galaxies located?” Naturally we see things like shooting stars and the northern lights and we also see our satellites going around. The show concludes with a look at humankind’s future in space.
 
 
HUBBLE VISION - Sunday at 2 p.m.
 
SHOWDATES: April 3, 10, 17, 24
                     May 1, 8
 
Since its launch in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has provided incredible images in unprecedented detail to astronomers, and made an astonishing array of discoveries – from nearby objects in the solar system to the most distant galaxies at the limits of the observable universe. In this production, major themes in current astronomy and cosmology are presented. This show looks at views of the planets, peeks into stellar nurseries and shows visions of stellar death in its many forms. Hubble has explored star clusters and galaxies as well as views of the universe when the earliest galaxies first shone. Join us in viewing the universe through the unblinking eye of one of the world’s premier telescopes.
 
 
THE 2016 TRANSIT OF MERCURY
 
 When a planet is seen passing across the solar disk we observe its transit. For an Earth-bound observer only Mercury and Venus offer such occurrences. There are 13 or 14 transits of Mercury each century. Venus is not as “generous”; its transits occur in pairs with more than a century between pairs. The last transit of Venus was on June 5/6, 2012, the next one will only happen in 2117.
On May 9, Mercury will be seen transiting the face of the Sun. Observed through a telescope (PROPERLY EQUIPPED WITH A SOLAR FILTER!!!) Mercury will appear as a little dark dot against the bright Sun. We will be able to trace its passage starting at 06:12 a.m. until 1:42 p.m.
  The department of Physics and Astronomy here at UWSP will deploy two telescopes in the sundial area and two other ones will be mounted on fixed piers atop the Science Building, on a platform by the observatory dome.
We cordially invite you to stop by and take a look through one of our telescopes and witness a spectacular astronomical event. The next transit of Mercury will be in 2019.
 
 
 SUMMER 2016 PLANETARIUM PROGRAMS
 
The Allan F. Blocher Planetarium will host a series of summer public shows in the interval May 23 - July 27. Please see the specific days, titles and times below:
 
Summer Shows are Monday & Wednesday
   Programs begin at 7:30 p.m.
 
 
AURORA
 

MAY  23, 25

 
T
 
his program takes a look at our understanding of the Aurora Borealis or northern lights. We look at some of the early myths associated with these phenomena and follow our understanding of their origin from ideas of the ancient Greeks to our modern-day knowledge of their appearance as a link between electricity and magnetism and between the Sun and the Earth.
 
 
THE STARGAZER 
 

JUNE  1, 20, 22

 
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arrated by Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura from Star Trek) and Dr. James Kaler (noted stellar astronomer) we take a more personal look at astronomy. Using principles of gravity, the
properties of light, and the spectrum, this program explores the very nature of the stars and stellar life cycles.
 
  
BAD ASTRONOMY 
  

JUNE  27,  29; JULY  6

 
W
   
 
 
ere 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.
 
 
DAWN OF ASTRONOMY 
 

JULY  11, 13, 18

 
J
ourney back in time to catch a glimpse of the dawn of astronomy. By looking at the prehistoric megaliths of Stonehenge, the mighty pyramids of Egypt, and the towering ziggurats of Babylonia we unearth our ancestor's fascination and understanding of the heavens and their shrines which are linked to celestial events. Learn how the ancients, through their astronomical observations, measured time and determined direction, as well as how they were able to build the impressive pyramids and Stonehenge.
 
 
ENDLESS HORIZON 
 

JULY  20, 25, 27

P
 
atrick Stewart is guiding us through a long history of human exploration, innovation, and
discovery; from the early expeditions of Columbus and Captain Cook to those who expanded our understanding of the universe beyond the home planet: Kepler, Newton, and Galileo. Finally, the more recent inventions and technological breakthroughs (Wright brothers, Konstantin­ Tsiolkovski, and Robert Goddard) offer a detailed chronology of the steps that led to the modern space exploration.