Allen F. Blocher Planetarium


Public Programs

  • These programs are free of charge.
  • The doors will open 20 minutes before the shows.  
Fall-Spring 2016-2017
 
PLANETARIUM PROGRAMS
 
The Allen F. Blocher Planetarium will host a
 
 series of public shows in the
 
interval September 2016-May 2017.
 
Please see the
 
specific days, times and titles below:
 
 
Fall and Spring shows are on Sundays
 
   Programs begin at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted
 
 

Mars Quest   

 

Patrick Stewart (Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard from the series Star Trek) narrates this program that takes a look at how our understanding of planet Mars has changed through the years. The three sections look first at the Mars of science fiction, then the Mars of science fact, and finally the possible Mars of the future.   

      Dates: September 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16

 

Endless Horizon

 

Patrick Stewart, also known as Captain Picard from the famous series Star Trek, will guide visitors 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. The more recent inventions and technological breakthroughs (Wright brothers, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Robert Goddard) offer a detailed chronology of the steps that led to the modern space exploration. The planetarium lecturer will conclude the program with the addition of some very recent events that seem to be emerging from the realm of science fiction and becoming reality.

 

Date: October 23 – included in the Wisconsin Science Festival

 

Chasing

the Ghost Particle

 

Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, the biggest and strangest detector in the world awaits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the insides of stars and planets. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive look into exploding stars and black holes.   

 

    Dates: October 30; November 6, 13, 20

    No show on November 27 (student vacation)

 

Winter Wonders

 
Our holiday program, especially for the young, takes a (multicultural) look at the many holiday customs and why the winter solstice was important. The program also describes different religious traditions and takes a look at Christmas story and the star. 
 
 

    Dates: December 4, 11, 18          Shows start at 2 p.m.

 

Season of Light

 
 

This delightful multicultural program will lead you through the discovery of many basic astronomy concepts as you explore the holiday traditions of several cultures and religions. Also hear about the origins of many of our modern holiday customs. We conclude with a look at some of the ideas of what the Christmas star was.

    Dates: December 4, 11, 18    Shows start at 3:15 p.m. !!! 
 
 

Cosmic Colors

 
Cosmic Colors will take you on a wondrous journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum.  Discover the many reasons for color - like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red.  Take a tour within a plant’s leaf and journey inside the human eye.  Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous 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. 
 

Dates: January 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26; March 5

 

Sky Quest 

Come along with a young woman on her personal quest to find a special place in the night sky. Starting with her childhood adventures on Mars (thanks to a cardboard rocket) and on to the discovery of her birthday star, these experiences eventually led her to becoming an astronomer. During the remainder of the program she shares telescopic views of celestial objects and describes how to actually find many of the stars and constellations in the night sky. Sky Quest is narrated by Roxann Dawson (the actress who portrays B'Elanna Torres on TV's Star Trek: Voyager) and it is an entertaining and educational exploration of the night sky.

 

Dates: March 12; April 2, 9, 23, 30; May 7

No shows on March 19, 26 (student vacation) and April 16 (Easter)


LASER SHOWS

GENERAL ENTERTAINMENT

 

The popular laser light shows will be offered at 8, 9 and 10 p.m. nightly, Wednesday through Saturday, March 29-April 1 and April 5-8. The shows help raise funds for the purchase of new astronomical shows and other educational expenses. They are presented by Audio Video Imagineering, a leader in laser engineering and custom laser show production, as part of their new full color projection system SkyLase.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and $3 for students with UWSP ID. Tickets are available at the door beginning at 7:30 p.m. and are valid that day only. The shows are suitable for people age 12 and older. Special shows for groups of 20 or more can be scheduled by contacting the planetarium office at 715-346-2139.Laser_Shows_Logos.png

  • Wednesday, March 29 – Laser Led Zeppelin
  • Thursday, March 30 – Laser Metallica
  • Friday, March 31  – Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
  • Saturday, April 1 – Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall
  • Wednesday, April 5  – Laser Vinyl
  • Thursday, April 6 – Laser Beatles
  • Friday, April 7 – Laser Pink Floyd: The Wall
  • Saturday, April 8 – Laser Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

EDUCATIONAL LASER SHOWS

 SUITABLE FOR YOUNG AGES

FREE OF CHARGE

First come, first served - up to 55 people per show.

  • Saturday, April 1 – Laser Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda (at 5pm)

                                                 – Laser Legends of Night Sky: Orion (at 6pm)

  • Sunday, April 2   – Laser Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda (at 5pm)

                                                 – Laser Legends of Night Sky: Orion (at 6pm)

  • Saturday, April 8  – Laser Legends of the Night Sky: Perseus & Andromeda (at 5pm)

                                                  – Laser Legends of Night Sky: Orion (at 6pm)

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The Allen F. Blocher Planetarium will host a
 
 series of public shows in the
 
interval June 1 - August 4, 2017.
 
SUMMER shows are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm unless otherwise noted.
 
 
Please see the
 
specific days, times and titles below:
 
 
BAD ASTRONOMY - June 5, 7, and 12

Bad Astronomy: Myths and Misconceptions - This program challenges the audience to think critically about science. Were the Apollo visits to the moon a hoax? Have aliens landed on Earth? Can you tell your future from the stars? Prepare to debunk and tackle pseudoscience head-on in "Bad Astronomy", 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 - June 19 and 21

Dawn of Astronomy - Journey 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 such structures as the pyramids and Stonehenge.

 

MARS QUEST - June 26 and 28

Mars Quest - Patrick Stewart narrates this program that takes a look at how our understanding of Mars has changed through the years. The three sections look first at the Mars of science fiction, then the Mars of science fact, and finally the possible Mars of the future.

 
ENDLESS HORIZON - July 3 and 5

Endless Horizon - Patrick Stewart is guiding us through a long journey of human exploartion, innovation, and discovery; from the early expeditions of Columbus 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 Tsiolkovsky, and Robert Goddard) offer a detailed chronology of the steps that led to the modern space exploration. Finally by using modern advances in telescopes, we habe been able to look out to the furthest expanses of the universe. Stand upon the shoulders of giants and see that our horizon is indeed endless.

 
GALAXIES - July 10 and 12

Galaxies - On a clear dark night the stars that we see appear to be uncountable.  These thousands of stars are only a small part of a grouping known as the Milky Way galaxy.  Stars, be they young or old, are not the only objects that can be found in our galaxy.  Many stars are part of star clusters, they along with gas and dust can all be found within the Milky Way galaxy.  Our galaxy the Milky Way is just one of more than one hundred billion galaxies in the universe.  In Galaxies, we journey through the Milky Way and the galaxies beyond to explore the universe of galaxies in which we live.

 
THE STARGAZER - July 17 and 19

The Stargazer - Narrated 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.

 
AURORA! - July 31, August 1 (Note that this is a Tuesday!) and 2

Aurora! - This program takes a look at our understanding of the Aurora Borealis or northern lights. We look at some of the early myths associated with the northern lights 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.