Eight shows are scheduled this month at the newly renovated Harry C. Vaughan University of Wyoming Planetarium, and tickets are expected to sell quickly. The planetarium, which has a seating capacity of 58, reopened last month with many of the star and laser shows selling out.

“The three or four star shows we did in December, we sold out every show,” says Travis Laurance, the planetarium’s director. “In some cases, we turned away 30 to 40 people. Even some of our laser shows have been selling out. We’re encouraging people to go to our office to buy tickets in advance.”

Tickets cost $2 for students and $3 for non-students, and can be purchased at the Department of Physics main office which is located in Room 204 of the Physical Sciences Building. Tickets may be purchased Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon. Doors open 20 minutes before each show, where tickets will be sold if available. The planetarium is located in the basement of the Physical Sciences Building.

With the recent renovations, crowds have been drawn to the full-dome shows that now provide immersive 3-D experiences. Traditional star shows have been replaced with far more interactive presentations, similar to an IMAX theater. Laser shows consist of three lasers (red, blue and green) that project graphics on the dome. The lasers are synchronized with music, and pre-programmed graphics and images are displayed.

This month’s planetarium schedule is as follows:

  • Myths and Legends: Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Perseus, Friday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m. Constellations allow astronomers to break up the sky into manageable puzzle pieces like regions. Some of these are based on Greek legends, which immortalized the heroes -- mortal and otherwise. Learn about the adventures of Perseus and the dangers of tempting the gods. A Laser Gaga laser show follows at 8 p.m.
  • The Solar System, Friday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. This star show provides a journey through our home solar system from the Sun to our favorite dwarf planet, Pluto. A Country USA laser show follows at 8 p.m.
  • Back to the Moon (a full-dome movie) and The Moons of Jupiter, Friday, Jan. 23, 7 p.m. From the time Galileo first observed them through our continuing search for liquid water outside the Earth, the moons of Jupiter have forever changed our perspective of the solar system. Let us explore! The Jimi Hendrix Experience, a laser show, follows at 8 p.m.
  • Constellations of the Southern Hemisphere, Friday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. This program will explore the night sky as seen from the Southern Hemisphere. We will begin our night in Laramie, and then travel south to see a night sky full of unfamiliar stars and constellations. The program will blend science and storytelling in a level appropriate for all backgrounds. A Laser Michael Jackson show follows at 8 p.m.

For more information, click here, call (307) 766-6150, or email physics@uwyo.edu.