Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory


Planetarium Menu



Contact Us

Main Campus

Phone: 419.530.2650

24-Hour Information Hotline


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 3 and under 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 new 14 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.  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 2017 SCHEDULE

Cosmic Colors Poster

Cosmic Color, an Adventure along the Spectrum

Fridays, May 5th through June 30th at 8:30 PM

Enjoy a wondrous journey through the world of color and beyond! Discover why the sky is blue, why Mars is red, and the reason why many things are the color that they are. Tour the interior of a plant leaf, voyage through a human eye, then step into the invisible universe as you investigate x-rays by taking on a monstrous black hole. Explore the world of infrared in a roaring fire, and even discover what may have been the actual color of a dinosaur. Explore the amazing rainbow of cosmic light through Cosmic Colors, an original production of the Daniel M. Soref Planetarium in cooperation with the Great Lakes Planetarium Association.

Spring 2017 SCHEDULE (January-April)

Planet Nine Poster

Plant Nine

Fridays, January 13th through February 24th at 7:30 PM

Explore the outer edges of our Solar System. See results from the historic New Horizon’s encounter with Pluto, discover the icy inhabitants of the Kuiper Belt, and learn why astronomer think there might be a giant undiscovered planet lurking far beyond the orbit of Pluto. Produced by the Adler Planetarium this is the Toledo debut of this exciting new program.

Ghost Particle Poster

Chasing the Ghost Particle

Fridays, March 3rd through April 28th at 7:30 PM

Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, the biggest and strangest detector in the world waits for mysterious messengers from the cosmos. Scientists are using tiny and elusive particles called neutrinos to explore the insides of stars and galaxies. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive look into exploding stars and black holes. Join us for the Toledo debut of this fascinating program.

Dinosuars Poster

Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs?

Saturdays, January 14th through February 25th at 1 PM

Did a space rock six miles wide slam into the Earth 66 million years ago, and wipe out 75 percent of all living species at that time, including the dinosaurs? Explore this impacts and cosmic collisions across the Solar System in this dynamic new show. This is the Toledo debut of this fun and informative children’s program.

Big Bird Poster

One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure

Saturdays, March 4th through April 1st at 1 PM

Follow 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. 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.

Big Bird Poster

One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure and Moon Adventures

Saturdays, April 15th through April 29th at 1 PM

Moon Adventure is a free hands-on educational experience following the planetarium show, One World, One Sky: Big Birds Adventure. The event will include many moon centered activities including making craters and exploring the “moon” with binoculars. Both the planetarium program and the Moon Adventures are aimed at children ages four through six.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children to the planetarium program. There is no additional fee for the Pre-school Moon Adventures. Guest are asked to arrive by no later than 12:40 PM.

Last Updated: 4/10/17