Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory


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Main Campus

Phone: 419.530.2650

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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.

  WINTER, SPRING, and Summer 2019 SCHEDULE
Tales of the Mayan Skies

Tales of the MAYAN Skies

Fridays, January 19th thougH January 25th at 7:30 PM

Tales of the Maya Skies is a digital full-dome 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. 

A Teenagers Guide to the Galaxy

a Teenager's GUIDE To the Galaxy

Saturdays, January 20th through January 26th at 1:00 PM

A Teenager’s Guide to the Galaxy is a children’s program (ages 10 to 15) that examines our Milky Way galaxy in a fun and entertaining fashion.  Audience will explore the solar system, see stars being born, and star dying.  This will be the Toledo premiere for this high energy romp through the galaxy. 

Europe to the Stars

Europe to the stars

Fridays, February 1st through February 22nd at 7:30 PM

Ritter Planetarium is proud to present the Toledo premiere of Europe to the Stars, a new planetarium program that tells the story of European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) exploration of the southern sky. This stunning fulldome program takes viewers on an epic journey behind the scenes of the most productive ground-based observatory in the world.

Zula Patrol

Zula PatroL: Under the Weather!

Saturdays, February 2nd through February 22nd at 1:00 PM

Explore the solar system with the Zula Patrol! Learn all about weather, both here on Earth and on other planets as well. Your kids will experience a dust storm on Mars, a hurricane on Jupiter, and the incredible heat on Venus.  This program is ideally suited for six to nine-year-old children.

Black Holes

a BLACK HOLES the other side of INfinity

Fridays, March 1st through APRIL 26th at 7:30 PM

Narrated by Academy-Award nominated actor Liam Neeson, this cutting-edge production features high-resolution visualizations of cosmic phenomena, working with data generated by computer simulations, to bring the current science of black holes to the dome. You will enjoy the striking, immersive animations of the formation of the early universe, star birth and death, the collision of giant galaxies, and a simulated flight to a super- massive black hole lurking at the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  

The Solar System Show

The SOLar system show

Saturdays, march 2nd through April 27th at 1:00 PM

Looking to explore way-out worlds? The blistering Sun? Mysterious moons? Crazy comets and amazing asteroids? Then join our gang of smart, wacky reporters and rambunctious planets in the Planetarium Channel’s new extravaganza, The Solar System Show! We promise planet fun for everyone.  

Capcom Go!

CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story

FRIdays, may 3rd through July 26th at 8:30 PM

CAPCOM GO! The Apollo Story is an immersive historical documentary that showcases the achievement of the Apollo program and what it took to put the first human on the moon. It introduces a new generation to the triumphs of the Apollo program. 

One World One Sky

One World One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventure

Saturdays, May 4th through May 31st at 1:00 PM

This is the perfect age-appropriate introduction to the night sky for children ages three and half to six. One World, One Sky, Big Bird’s Adventureis a full-dome 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. 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.

Saturday afternoon childrens' programs will return in September! 
Last Updated: 1/22/19