Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

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Contact Us

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 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.

 
summer skies Poster

Summer Skies Over Toledo

Fridays, July 7th and 14th at 8:30 PM

“Summer Skies over Toledo” is a live, interactive program that looks at the night sky as seen from Toledo. We will look at the stars, constellations, and planets visible with the naked eye, talk about some of the associated mythologies, and show you how you can become a backyard astronomer. This program is the perfect introduction to astronomy for all ages.

 
Maya Skies Poster

Tales of the Maya Skies

Fridays, July 21st and 28th at 8:30 PM

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.

 
 
Eclipse Path

Eclipse 2017 Preview Show

Fridays, August 4th through 18th at 8:30 PM

This live and interactive program will prepare you for the All-American Eclipse on August 21st of this year. Learn what eclipses are and why they happen. You will get all the information you need to safely watch this eclipse from your own backyard. Don’t miss this rare event!

 
 

 

fall 2017 SCHEDULE


Oasis in Space Poster

Oasis in Space

Friday, August 25th at 8:30 PM

During this visually stunning program you will travel through the solar system in search of liquid water, life, and another oasis in space like our Earth. The program looks at the formation of the solar system, and the physical characteristics of the planets, and some of their larger moons.

 
summer skies Poster

Out There-The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds

Fridays, September 1st through October 27th at 7:30 PM

For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.

 
Big Bird Poster

One World, One Sky, Big Bird's Adventure

Saturdays, September 2nd thought October 29th at 1:00 PM

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. 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.

 
 
summer skies Poster

Fall Skies Over Toledo

Fridays, November 3rd and November 10th at 7:30 PM

“Fall Skies over Toledo” is a live, interactive program that looks at the night sky as seen from Toledo. We will look at the stars, constellations, and planets visible with the naked eye, talk about some of the associated mythologies, and show you how you can become a backyard astronomer. This program is the perfect introduction to astronomy for all ages.

 
Dinosaurs Poster

Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs?

Saturdays, November 4th through November 11th at 1:00 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.

 
 
Alien Poster

The Alien Who Stole Christmas

Fridays, November 17th through December 22nd at 7:30 PM

Take a brisk walk on clear winter evening and look at the stars and constellations overhead without ever leaving your comfortable seat in the planetarium. Then tag along with Santa as he meets Mr. Freep, an alien from another world. Together they head of on a cosmic adventure taking them to the farthest regions of our Solar System. Will Santa make it back in time to deliver his toys to the children of Earth? Join for us this holiday season for The Alien Who Stole Christmas, an amusing, entertaining, and educational program for children and Santa fans of all ages.

 
 
Secret Star Poster

Santa's Secret Star

Saturdays, November 18th through December 23rd at 1:00 PM

Santa’s Secret Star is an updated fulldome version of our classic children’s program by the same name. Follow along as Rudolph introduces Santa to his friends the constellations. Watch how the constellations help Santa and his crew make it back to the North Pole. Learn how you can navigate by the stars just like Santa.

 
 
Last Updated: 8/2/17