UW Planetarium to Celebrate Achievements of Women in Astronomy in March | News

February 24, 2022

Maria Mitchell, left, the first female astronomer in the United States, and women from Vassar College prepare to observe the 1878 total solar eclipse on their expedition west. The UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium will celebrate the achievements of women in astronomy in March. (Photo by UW Planetarium)

Historic female achievements in astronomy will be the focus of Women’s History Month celebrations at the University of Wyoming’s Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium in March.

“In March, we mark Women’s History Month with a selection of programs celebrating women’s achievements in astronomy,” says Max Gilbraith, planetarium coordinator.

Gilbraith says the first March show, titled “Astronomical Women,” will look at the achievements of female astronomers from ancient times to the present. Rounding out the month, “Liquid Sky: Women Who Rock” will feature an all-female lineup of rock, pop, indie and alternative music.

For tickets or to receive more program information, email [email protected] or leave a voicemail and call-back phone number at (307) 766-6506. Tickets are $5 for the public and $3 for students, seniors, veterans, first responders, and under 18s. Places are free for children under 5 years old.

Reservations or pre-purchases are not required and walk-ins are welcome. Tickets can be purchased online with a credit card, reserved by email or voicemail, or purchased at the start of the show. Cash or check is accepted at the door. The planetarium, which can accommodate 58 people, is located in the basement of the Physical Sciences Pavilion. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis outside of ADA/wheelchair designated seating.

To pay for tickets with a credit card, go to https://www.uwyo.edu/uwplanetarium/ticket.aspx. For a group larger than six, email the planetarium for a private show at https://uwyo.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bKuqIynOn7gFK2F. Tickets for private shows are the same as for public programs.

A film and a special live lecture for the public will be presented each week. All programs last approximately one hour. If time permits, part of the show may also focus on a live sky tour or additional information related to the subject of the film.

The March schedule is:

— Friday, March 4, 7 p.m.: “Astronomical Women”. This program will discuss the history and discoveries of renowned female astronomers, scientists and engineers, including Hypatia, Annie Cannon and Vera Rubin.

— Saturday, March 5, 2 p.m.: “Two Small Pieces of Glass”, a full-dome film. Viewers will learn the history of the telescope, from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass – using two small pieces of glass – to the launch of the NASA/European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy.

— Saturday, March 5, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: EDM,” a sound and light show based on music. The program will feature music from artists such as Avicii, Kygo, The Chainsmokers and R3HAB in 5.1 surround sound. The planetarium sky at 4K resolution will become a canvas of color, pattern and movement through the use of cutting-edge music visualization software and live VJ talent.

— Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies”. The program features an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

— Friday, March 11, 7 p.m.: “Asteroids, meteors and comets”. This program will examine how these types of objects have major impacts on the world around us.

— Saturday, March 12, 2 p.m.: “Dawn of the Space Age”, a full-dome film. This film presents a historical reconstruction of man’s first steps into space.

— From March 13 to 20: closed during spring break.

— Tuesday, March 22, 7 p.m.: “Wyoming Skies”. The program features an exploration of the stars, constellations, planets, meteor showers and other celestial phenomena visible from Wyoming for the season.

— Friday, March 25, 7 p.m.: “Yellowstone to Enceladus”. This program will discuss displays of volcanic power from Yellowstone National Park and similar power that lies beneath the surface of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus.

— Saturday, March 26, 2 p.m.: “The Sun, Our Living Star”, a full-dome film. Viewers will uncover the secrets of the sun and experience never-before-seen footage of its violent surface in an immersive full-dome format.

— Saturday, March 26, 7 p.m.: “Liquid Sky: Women Who Rock,” a music-based sound and light show. The program will feature music from artists such as Cyndi Lauper, The Cranberries, Florence and the Machine, Mitski and Japanese Breakfast in 5.1 surround sound. The planetarium sky in 4K resolution will become a canvas of color, pattern and movement with state-of-the-art music visualization software and live VJ talent.

For more detailed descriptions of these programs, go to www.uwyo.edu/physics/planetarium/schedule.html.

Arline J. Mercier