UM to Host Summer Planetarium Shows

May 20, 2015

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Department of Physics and Astronomy invites the public to its summer planetarium shows in the Payne Family Native American Center Star Gazing Room. The 50-minute shows will be offered at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. two Fridays each month throughout June, July and August.

The following dates will be included in the summer planetarium show series: June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, Aug. 14 and Aug. 28.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets are limited and are available for purchase at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/star-gazing-room-summer-planetarium-show-tickets-16870752876?ref=ebtn. Sales end one hour before each show or when sold out.

Each program will take attendees on a tour of the current night skies of Missoula, pointing out noteworthy objects, constellations, planets or upcoming events visible in the night sky. The show then will shift to an engaging topic, or set of topics, chosen by that evening’s presenter. 

In addition to the various topics, each summer show will include either a preview or an update regarding the July 14 Pluto encounter and the closest approach by the New Horizons spacecraft. Early summer programs will preview the Pluto encounter and provide background on the types of objects that inhabit the outer solar system. Shows later in the summer will include science updates following the July 14 encounter.

The maximum capacity for public shows is 25 people. Events may sell out quickly. Attendees should plan to be present 10 minutes before the beginning of the show, as the planetarium entrance will be locked after the show begins.

Though the Star Gazing Room is booked through the end of May for visiting school groups and private groups, the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy currently is scheduling summer shows for youth groups, private groups and nonprofit organizations. Spots will be available on a limited basis and can be scheduled based on availability.

For more information about the summer showings or about booking a group event, visit http://cas.umt.edu/physics/Outreach/default.php.

Contact: Mark Reiser, UM Department of Physics and Astronomy outreach coordinator, 406-243-2074, mark.reiser@umontana.edu.