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Physics and Astronomy WSU Planetarium

Planetarium

WSU Planetarium

The WSU Planetarium features a digital fulldome projection system. During a sky tour, audiences interact with the projected sky and the docent to learn about astronomy. The dome is a 24 foot diameter plastic-laminated glass-fiber dome installed in Sloan Hall in March, 1962. In 1968 the projector was upgraded to the Spitz A3-P. In 2014, an interim spheric mirror digital projection system was added, upgraded to 4k resolution in summer 2016. It is used for WSU astronomy classes, school groups, other groups, and evening public shows. If you have a group of twelve or more, you can arrange a free, one-hour sky tour during business hours. Contact Dr. Guy Worthey at gworthey(at)wsu.edu to arrange.

2021 Fall
$5 public shows


Hygiene rules: limited seating capacity, masks please. 

Nov 5 & 7: Distant Worlds: Alien Life?

Nov 12 & 14: The Hot and Energetic Universe

Dec 3 & 5: The Sun: Our Living Star

Dec 10 & 12: Phantom of the Universe

November 2021 shows

Tickets at the door are $5 (cash or check, no credit). Lap-sitting children (4 and under) are free with adult purchase. Until further notice, we request that attendees wear a mask. We will be limiting seating to a fraction of capacity, and will be sanitizing between shows.  Scroll down for detailed directions to the WSU Planetarium, 231 Sloan Hall.

Distant Worlds – Alien Life?

Friday, Nov 5, 7 pm

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Sunday, Nov 7, 5 pm

A tour of November night skies, followed by the planetarium production “Distant Worlds – Alien Life?”

“Distant Worlds – Alien Life?” explores the possibility of life on other planets. It gives the limits of biology as we know it, then intersects those constraints with what we know about Milky Way exoplanets. Imaginative visualizations of possible life forms are animated in a fulldome experience.

“Distant Worlds – Alien Life?”, originally “Ferne Welten – fremdes Leben?”, is a joint production by the planetariums in Münster, Bochum, Kiel, Mannheim, Osnabrück und Wolfsburg, produced at LWL-Planetarium Münster.

The Hot and Energetic Universe

Friday, Nov 12, 7 pm

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Sunday, Nov 14, 5 pm

A tour of November night skies, followed by the fulldome production “The Hot and Energetic Universe.”

High energy astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. This radiation reveals powerful processes in a hot and violent universe. The fulldome film probes hot gas in clusters of galaxies, which are the most massive objects in the universe. It also probes hot gas accreting around supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. We also discover important information about our own galaxy: neutron stars, supernova remnants and stars like our sun which emit copious amounts of high energy radiation.

December 2021 shows

Tickets at the door are $5 (cash or check, no credit). Lap-sitting children (4 and under) are free with adult purchase. Until further notice, we request that attendees wear a mask. We will be limiting seating to a fraction of capacity, and will be sanitizing between shows.  Scroll down for detailed directions to the WSU Planetarium, 231 Sloan Hall.

The Sun: Our Living Star

Friday, Dec. 3, 7 pm

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Sunday, Dec 5, 5 pm

A guided tour of December night skies and “The Sun: Our Living Star.”

The Phantom of the Universe

Friday, Dec 10, 7 pm

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Sunday, Dec 12, 5 pm

A guided tour of December night skies and “The Phantom of the Universe,” a fulldome movie about dark matter.

From the journey of protons racing through the world’s largest particle collider in Europe to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent cosmos, Phantom of the Universe is a new fulldome planetarium show designed to immerse audiences in the search for dark matter. A collaboration of Lawrence Berkeley National LabUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonMichigan State UniversityIFIC at University of Valencia, as well as other institutions. It is narrated by Oscar-winning actress, Tilda Swinton.

Directions

Directions from Stadium & Main: Turn up Stadium, immediate left at Nevada, immediate left at Washington, turn right on Spokane Street. Street spots and nearby parking lots are legal to park in after-hours. Otherwise, please arrange a temporary permit from parking.wsu.edu (the zone you want is called “green 3.”) The pedestrian bridge is the most convenient entry; come across the bridge, come in the building, then turn right. Twenty paces later, turn left and head down the hall to Sloan 231.

from_StadiumMain

We are gratified that our series of informative and entertaining shows for the general public, inaugurated in Spring, 2014, have proven very popular. In Summer, 2014, we installed a spheric-mirror digital projection system to operate alongside the legacy Spitz star ball to enable a whole new layer of flexibility in the star theater. A system upgrade quadrupled its resolution in 2016. Our dome was painted a friendly gray color in 2019 to reduce light echoes and improve contrast.

Funds from ticket sales maintain and improve our surround sound and full dome visual systems, and guarantee an offering of even more spectacular public events in the future. The WSU Foundation will be happy to assist you if you wish to accelerate the upgrades with a financial gift (donate to “astronomy development fund”).

Our offerings:

  • Day time groups ($0)
  • Evening public shows ($5)
  • Corporate facility rental (inquire, 335-4994)