Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

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Main Campus
RPBO

Phone: 419.530.2650

24-Hour Information Hotline
419.530.4037

rpbo@astro.utoledo.edu

Public Programs

Public programs are offered on Friday evenings throughout the year at 7:30 PM (or 8:30 from May through August) 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).  All shows are first come first serve and reservations are not accepted.  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.

 

Summer 2015 SCHEDULE (April-August)
(NOTE THE FRIDAY TIME CHANGE TO 8:30 PM Starting in MAy)


 

Birth of the Solar System Banner

The Birth of the Solar System
Fridays, April 3 through April 24 at 7:30 PM

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

Case of the Disappearing Planet Banner

The Case of the Disappearing Planet and New Horizons Update
Saturdays, April 4 through April 25, 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
 

 

Firefall Banner

Stars: The Powerhouses of the Universe
Fridays, May 1 through May 29 at 8:30 PM

Stars focuses on how stars are born, how they die, and how human understanding of them has changed over time. From Native Americans to Newton, from the electromagnetic spectrum to Einstein, audiences will explore nebulae, star clusters, pulsars, black holes, and more. 



View the Stars trailer

Dynamic Earth

The Dynamic Earth
Fridays, June 1 through May 29 at 8:30 PM


This thrilling program examines the Earth’s climate engine, the Carbon Cycle. Your students will travel from far-flung Venus to beneath the Earth’s seas to understand why the Earth is capable of supporting life, and how that life, from plankton to people, interacts with that very same Carbon Cycle. This is the perfect program for astronomy, earth science, and biology classes!

View the Dynamic Earth trailer

pluto

Pluto-Live!
Fridays, July 3 through July 31 at 8:30 PM


A live planetarium program that celebrates the arrival of New Horizons at this far-flung world.  Launched in 2006, this probe has traveled over 3 billion miles and will be humanity’s first visit to Pluto later this summer.  See Pluto like never before!

earthquake

Earthquake:  Evidence of a Restless Planet
Fridays August 7 through August 28 at 8:30pm


A sweeping geological journey, Earthquake: Evidence of a Restless Planet explores the forces that transform the surface of our planet. Fly along the San Andreas Fault before diving into the planet’s interior. Journey back in time to witness the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and the break-up of Pangaea 200 million years ago. Learn how scientist and engineers collaborate to help society prepare for a safer environment and a safer future.
 

View the Earthquake trailer

 

Spring 2015 Schedule


Winter Skies Over Toledo Banner 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.

Case of the Disappearing Planet Banner 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 Banner 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
Journey Through the Solar System Banner 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 Banner  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
Big Bird Banner 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

 

Last Updated: 3/30/15