Planetarium Shows to Dive into Cassini’s Grand Finale, Travel ‘on a Beam of Light’

September 21, 2017

MISSOULA – Astronomers will guide audiences through the grand finale of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at Saturn and take them on a journey "on a beam of light" during upcoming planetarium shows at the University of Montana.

UM’s Department of Physics and Astronomy invites the public to its fall semester shows in the Payne Family Native American Center Star Gazing Room at 6:30 and 8 p.m. every other Friday from Sept. 22 to Dec. 1. The schedule is:

  • Sept. 22: “Cassini’s Grand Finale at Saturn,” presented by Dan Reisenfeld, UM physics and astronomy professor.
  • Oct. 6: “Traveling on a Beam of Light,” presented by Mark Reiser, outreach coordinator.
  • Oct. 20: “Traveling on a Beam of Light,” presented by Reiser.
  • Nov. 3: “Traveling on a Beam of Light,” presented by Reiser.
  • Nov. 17: Program TBA, presented by Diane Friend, physics and astronomy lecturer.
  • Dec. 1: Program TBA, presented by Reisenfeld.

Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 12 and under and are available for purchase at The maximum capacity for public shows is 28 people, so tickets are limited. Shows often sell out in advance, and tickets cannot be purchased at the door.

Attendees should arrive 10 minutes before the beginning of the show to check in. The planetarium entrance will be locked after the show begins. As part of the Elouise Cobell Land and Culture Institute, UM’s planetarium is housed in the Star Gazing Room in the basement of the Native American Center.

The UM Department of Physics and Astronomy is currently scheduling spring semester shows for youth and student groups, as well as private/community-based groups. For more information about booking a group event, visit

Contact: Mark Reiser, outreach coordinator, UM Department of Physics and Astronomy, 406-243-2074,