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Physics and Astronomy WSU Planetarium

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 ten or more, you can arrange a free, one-hour sky tour during business hours. We find it especially easy to schedule in the 11 a.m. hour. Please email Dr. Michael Allen at mlfa(at)wsu.edu to arrange.

2018 Summer
$5 public shows


May 25/27 Planets of Summer

June 8/10 Planets Rock

June 22/24 To Boldly Go

July 6/8 Hubblevision

July 20/22 Magnificent Desolation

Aug 24/26 Galaxies Like Dust

Summer 2018 Schedule

Tickets at the door are $5 (cash or check, no credit). Children 6 and under free. Scroll down for detailed directions to the WSU Planetarium, 231 Sloan Hall.

Planets of Summer

Friday, May 25, 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 27, 5 p.m.

2018 is a great year for observing planets using only your eyes. Your tour guide for this traditional planetarium show will point out the summer constellations, review basic sky orientation, and zoom in on planets to observe in 2018. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all visible, with a cameo appearance by Mercury.

Planets Rock

Friday, June 8, 7:00 p.m., and Sunday, June 10, 5:00 p.m.

This multimedia fantasia features flybys of many planets, along with other surprises. The fulldome visual immersion is accompanied by audio immersion, with eclectic music from the 70s through 00s surging through the air.  After this, we’re sure you’ll agree: Planets rock!

To Boldly Go: The Science of Star Trek

Friday, June 22, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 24, 5:00 p.m.

Logical, yet wild, conjecture has both dangers and opportunities. We’ll step through some of the props and plot devices from the storied Star Trek franchise, which debuted in the late 1960s. Are warp drives a thing? Transporter beams? Dilithium? Vulcans? We shall reveal all.

Hubblevision

Friday, July 6, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 8, 5:00 p.m.

Hubble Space Telescope’s dazzling images are known around the world, but its scientific legacy is even more amazing. This mixed-bag tour shows you the locations on the sky of some of the most recognizable HST images, reviews the history of HST, and charts the science legacy of this mind-expanding robotic, orbital telescope.

Magnificent Desolation

Friday, July 20, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 22, 5:00 p.m

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This presentation focuses on the exploration of the moon. The amazing history of the Apollo program interweaves with the science of this familiar yet enigmatic natural satellite.

Galaxies like Dust

Friday, Aug 24, 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, Aug 26, 5:00 p.m.

The scale of the universe, from atom to cosmic web, expands the mind. In this show, we dive into the frothy spacescape of galaxies. Composed of gas and dark matter,  galaxies are the crossroads of astrophysics, where everything from stellar structure to black holes to cosmology seems to have some effect.

 

Directions

Directions from Stadium & Main: Turn up Stadium, immediate left at Nevada, immediate left at Washington, turn right on Spokane Street. (“Green” and “Yellow” spots are legal to park in after-hours. Otherwise, please arrange a temporary permit.) 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 excited 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. 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)