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Public programs are offered on Friday evenings throughout the year at 7:30 (or 8:30 from May through August) PM and Saturday afternoons during the academic year at 1:00 PM. Admission to all public programs is $7 for adults and $5 for children, seniors, and UT community members (children under 4 are free). Doors open 30 minutes before the show, during which time you can explore the displays in out lobby or try to answer our fun astronomy-themed quiz projected inside the dome.
What you can expect:
- A live guided tour of the Toledo night sky
You will learn about the constellations visible from Toledo and any planets visible to the naked eye. We also typically discuss one "hot topic" in astronomy, such as the discovery of new planets around other stars, or the latest NASA discover on Mars.
- The full-dome presentation
Whether we are traveling inside a black hole, taking a tour of the moon with Elmo, or learning about the skies over Toledo, you and your family will simply be amazed at the fulldome immersive show.
- An open-ended question and answer session
Our expert host will answer all of your astronomy questions, whether they pertain to the live tour of the night sky, the feature presentation, or any other astronomy question that you might have.
- Observing at Brooks/Ritter Observatory
You will be escorted over to Brooks Observatory atop McMaster Hall to view the stars and/or planets through our 6 inch refractor telescope. On the first Friday of every month, we instead observe with the Ritter 1m (40 in) telescope. This telescope is the largest active telescope east of the Mississippi and is still used by the astronomers at UT for their research. On Saturday afternoons, we instead observe the Sun with our small mobile solar telescope. All observing is weather permitting!
The planetarium portion of the program is roughly an hour long, while the observing session will continue until everyone has had a chance to take a look through the telescope.
Fall 2014 Schedule
(note the Friday time change to 7:30 PM)
The Birth of the Solar System
Travel back in time nearly five billion years and watch the birth of our solar system. Learn how the sun and planets formed, and how astronomers have pieced together the clues of our ancient origins. Stunning graphics and a riveting soundtrack are bound to captivate everyone in this exciting new program.
View the Birth of the Solar System trailer
One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure
This is the perfect age-appropriate introduction to the night sky for children ages three and half to seven. Big Bird, Elmo, and their friend from China explore the night sky and discover the Big Dipper and the North Star. Using their imaginations they travel to the Moon and learn the many differences between it and the Earth. The program also includes a quick tour of the night sky for adults and older children.
This will be the Toledo premier of Firefall, an exciting new fulldome program that examines cosmic collisions from the birth
of the solar system to the 2013 meteor over Russia. Find out what scientists are
doing to better understand these collisions and what they are doing to protect the
world from a cataclysmic collision. Are we doomed like the dinosaurs? Find out in
Two Small Pieces of Glass
Two Small Pieces of Glass traces the history of the telescope from Galileo's modifications to a child's spyglass—using
two small pieces of glass—to the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the future
of astronomy. It explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout
the last 400 years. You will explore the Galilean moons, Saturn's rings, and the
spiral structure of galaxies as well as learning about the future of astronomy. This
is a great program for kids ages 8 and up.
The Alien Who Stole Christmas
Santa's Secret Star
Spring 2015 Schedule
|The Winter Skies Over Toledo
Fridays, January 9 through January 30 at 7:30 PM
This is an exciting combination of fulldome and live programming that takes a look at the stars, constellation, and planets visible in the night sky from here in Toledo this winter. See stunning examples of stars being born and even the remains of long dead stars. Hear riveting mythologies along with the latest discoveries from the frontiers of science. This program will awaken the astronomer in all of us.
|The Case of the Disappearing Planet and New Horizons Update
Saturdays, January 10 through January 31, at 1:00 PM
A radio announcement… an excited phone call… and our sly gumshoe, Skye Watcher, is on the case. Explore with Skye and discover what happened to the ex-planet Pluto as she tracks down clues that stretch back hundreds of years! Audiences will have great fun with this unique program that looks into the changing status of planets in our Solar System.
View the Case of the Disappearing Planet trailer
|Tales of the Maya Skies
Fridays, February 6 through February 27
Tales of the Maya Skies is a digital fulldome show with a custom score and visuals that immerses the audience in Mayan astronomy, art, and culture. Narrated by Latin Grammy award winner Lila Downs, Tales of the Maya Skies inspires and educates through its description of the Maya's accurate astronomical achievements and how astronomy connected them to the Universe.
View the Tales of the Maya Skies trailer
|Journal Through the Solar System
Saturdays, February 7 through February 28
This live and interactive program is designed for children aged five to ten. We travel through our neighborhood in space looking at each of the planets and some of the more interesting moon and other leftovers as well. You’ll also learn how to see some of these exotic planets from your own backyard!
|Back to the Moon for Good
Fridays, March 6 through March 27
Back to the Moon for Good looks at Google’s X-Prize competition to return to the Moon. This program is an informative, fast-paced look at mankind’s exploration of the Moon in the past, the present, and the future.
View the Back to the Moon for Good trailer
|One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure
Saturdays, March 7 through March 28
One World, One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure is a fulldome show that follows Sesame Street's Big Bird and Elmo as they explore the night sky with Hu Hu Zhu, a Muppet from China. Together they take an imaginary trip from Sesame Street to the Moon, where they discover how different it is from Earth. This program is a brilliant spectacle of light and color as the furry friends watch the stars twinkle over Sesame Street. One World, One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure aims to nurture a child's natural sense of wonder about the night sky while connecting kids across nations through a common bond in learning about the sky.
View the One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure trailer