Allen F. Blocher Planetarium


Public Programs

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

 

SUMMER 2016 PLANETARIUM PROGRAMS
 
The Allen F. Blocher Planetarium will host a
 
 series of summer public shows in the
 
interval May 23 - July 27.
 
Please see the
specific days, times and titles 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

 
N
 
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 Tsiolkovsky, and Robert Goddard) offer a detailed chronology of the steps that led to the modern space exploration.
 
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, 16, 23, 30; May 7

No shows on March 19, 26 (student vacation)