Ritter Planetarium and Brooks Observatory

Public Programs

Public programs are offered on Friday evenings throughout the year at 7:30 pm (May through September at 8:30 pm) and Saturday afternoons during the academic year at 1:00 pm. Admission to all public programs is $8 for adults and $6 for children, seniors and UToledo community members (children 3 and under are free).

We accept credit card and cash payments. All shows are first-come, first-served and reservations are not available. Doors open 30 minutes before the show, during which time you can explore the displays in our lobby. (Note the time change to 7:30 PM as of September 1.)

The planetarium (show) portion of the program is approximately one-hour, while the observing session on Friday night will continue until everyone has had a chance to take a look through the telescope. More information below.


Summer and fall 2022 Schedule:


Poster for Chasing the Ghost Particle program

Chasing the Ghost Particle

Fridays at 7:30 PM from September 2 to September 30, 2022

Deep in the ice at the heart of Antarctica, IceCube, 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 most extreme places in the universe. These ghostly neutrinos give us an exclusive way to study powerful cosmic engines like exploding stars and black holes.

Poster for One World One Sky

One World, One Sky:  Big Bird's Big Adventure

Saturdays at 1:00 PM from September 3 to September 24, 2022

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 Adventure is 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.

Poster for Secrets of the Universe

Secrets of the Universe

Fridays at 7:30 PM from October 7 to October 28, 2022

Secrets of the Universe is a sweeping science adventure that immerses audiences in the greatest mysteries of our time – puzzles spanning from the infinitesimal to the infinite; a journey guided by some of the most brilliant minds, seeking to answer life’s greatest questions, using the greatest science machines in history. The answers await at the collision points of intellect and imagination, of theory and experiment, of the tiniest particles and most powerful forces in the Universe.

Poster for Spooky Space Science

Spooky Space

Saturdays at 1:00 PM from October 1 to October 29, 2022

Explore the sky and outer space with a Halloween twist. Meet the space counterparts to spooky characters like ghosts, vampires, and witches. Spooky Space is a great Halloween show for ages 6 and up. 

Poster for CapCom Go!

CapCom Go!

Fridays at 7:30 PM from November 4 to November 25, 2022

An immersive, historical documentary that showcases the achievements of the Apollo program and what it took to put the first human on the Moon. It introduces a new generation to the immense challenges they overcame and will inspire them to become the explorers, designers, engineers, thinkers and dreamers of the future.

Poster for the Case of the Disappearing Planet

The Case of the Disappearing Planet

Saturdays at 1:00 PM from November 5 to November 26, 2022

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.

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 full-dome 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 UToledo for their research. All observing is weather permitting!


Last Updated: 9/21/22