Allen F. Blocher Planetarium

Public Programs

  • These programs are free of charge
  • The doors will open 30 minutes before shows unless stated otherwise


                                   Holiday Shows 

           Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.

                          Monday evenings at 8 p.m.

Winter Wonders - at 2 p.m.
SHOWDATES: December 7, 14, 21  
This program looks at the time of the winter solstice, the point where the noontime sun is lowest in the sky.  Join Jackie and Michelle, two teenage girls, as they hear about the Christian and Jewish religious events during this time of year.  In addition, the girls learn about celebrations and rituals of many other cultures that originate from solstice observances.  We also look at some of our more light-hearted traditions: gift-giving and decking the halls with candles and greenery.  This program includes a look at some of the solstice customs of some of the peoples of central Africa, China, Native Americans, the Inuit, and the Incas to name a few.  We conclude by looking at some of the monuments that have been built by prehistoric peoples to the winter solstice.  Winter Wonders is a great holiday program for families.
Season of Light - at 3:15 p.m.
SHOWDATES: December 7, 14, 21
This program traces the development of many of the world’s most endearing holiday customs, from the burning Yule log, sparkling Christmas lights, to the lighting of the Menorah and luminarias.  Season of Light not only recounts Christian and Jewish historical and religious events during the time of the winter solstice, but also celebrations and rituals of many other cultures.  St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, and Santa Claus all drop by as we also look at some of our more light-hearted traditions: gift-giving, kissing under the mistletoe, and decking the halls with greenery and candles.  We conclude by looking at some of the possible astronomical explanations for what the Christmas star might have been.  Lighten your holiday with a celebration of one of the warmest and brightest of times.
The Night Skies of Winter - Mondays

SHOWDATES: December 1, 8, 15 January 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23
Showtimes 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 program we open the Arthur J. Pejsa observatory to allow visitors an opportunity to view objects in the real night sky.

Future Shows -

Chasing the Ghost Particle - Sunday at 2 p.m.  
SHOWDATES: January 25;  February 1, 8, 15, 22;  March 1, 8, 29
                      There will be no shows March 15 and 22
Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos.  Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the insides of stars and galaxies.  These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive look into exploding stars and black holes.  In this new program, we see stunning views of the most extreme places in our universe.  The galaxies around us, the Earth, and the Sun are the prelude to a thrilling journey inside the detector, looking for traces of neutrinos from when they collide with atoms in the ice.  From one of the most remote locations on Earth to the unexplored regions of the cosmos, Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe takes you on a journey you will never forget.
              LASER LIGHT SHOWS this spring
 We will be presenting laser light shows the weeks of 

    March 25-28 and April 1-4 at 8, 9, and 10 p.m.  
                 We do have an admission charge for these shows of 
           $5 for Adults, $4 for Students and $3 for UW-SP Students
Shows will use the music of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and other groups.
The Final Schedule of which group will be shown on each day will be determined by early February.
The Night Skies of Spring - Mondays

SHOWDATES: March 2, 9, 23, 30;  April 6, 13, 20, 27;  and May 4 - NO SHOW March 16   
Showtimes 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 program we open the Arthur J. Pejsa observatory to allow visitors an opportunity to view objects in the real night sky.
Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions - Sunday at 2 p.m.
SHOWDATES: April 12, 19, 26         There will be no show April 5
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 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 us as we take a critical look at popular myths and misconceptions to see how science can be used to evaluate questionable claims.
The Stargazer - Sunday at 2 p.m.
SHOWDATES: May 3, 10, 17  
The stars themselves are featured in our last program as we look at the life cycles of the stars.  This program is narrated in part by Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played Lt. Uhura in teh original Star Trek television series.  We see how astronomers learn about the stars themselves by studying the light from those stars.  Discover the secrets of the universe by allowing the sheer power of the night sky to arouse your curiosity, and by becoming the stargazer that is within you.