Learn More About the Night Sky and Astronomy Through UWSP Public Programs
Curious about the night sky? Take advantage of UW-Stevens Point’s free public programs at the Allen F. Blocher planetarium, which cover a range of topics that appeal to all ages. Open during the regular academic year, the facilities are open on Sundays to the public. See the list below for the Fall 2017 semester schedule.
Doors open half an hour before the show, and the sixty seats are first come, first serve. Large groups of 15 or more should schedule a special showing by appointment for $25 a group. Most programs begin promptly at 2 p.m. and last an hour. Regularly scheduled programs are free as a public service.
Also available are public is the Night Sky program on Mondays at 8 p.m., which looks in detail at objects in the sky. From 8:30-10 p.m., the public can visit the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory on clear Monday nights during the semester to look through the Meade 0.4-m telescope. Temperatures are the same as outside, so be sure to dress warmly. The observatory will be closed if the temperature drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
Potential visitors can call the automated attendant at 715-346-2208 and select the observatory number (6) to learn whether the observatory will be open.
The planetarium and observatory are located on the second and fourth floor of the Science Building on the UW-Stevens Point campus. Both facilities are closed during student breaks. The Science building (2001 Fourth Ave) is at the southwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Reserve Streets. For parking information please visit www.uwsp.edu/campusMap. For further information, call 715-346-2208, or visit www.uwsp.edu/physastr/plan_obs.
JOURNEY TO THE STARS
Dates: October 8, 15, 22, 29
Did you ever wonder what types of objects make up our vastly large universe? Or how some things you see in the night sky could be explained? If so, this show is for you. During the program, we will take a look at how astronomers study the heavens, mainly with the use of different kinds of telescopes. Using these huge light collectors, they have been able to see heavenly objects that inspire wonder and delight. Throughout the show, we will be taking a survey of the known universe. We answer several important questions such as, “How big is our solar system? How big is the universe? What are stars like? Where are the other galaxies located?” Naturally we see things like shooting stars and the northern lights, we also see our satellites going around. This leads to the show’s conclusion, a look at humankind’s future in space.
Dates: November 5 (included in the Wisconsin Science Festival; https://wisconsinsciencefest.org/ , 12, 19; No show on November 26 (student vacation)
Patrick Stewart is guiding us through a long history of human exploration, innovation, and discovery; from the early expeditions of Columbus 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.
Dates: December 3, 10, 17 – Shows start at 2:00 pm
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.
SEASON OF LIGHT
Dates: December 3, 10, 17 – Shows start at 3:15 pm
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.