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
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



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)




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 Sky Lease, a leader in laser engineering and custom laser show production.

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




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)