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.


Winter 2018 SCHEDULE


 
 
Einstein Poster

Einstein’s Gravity Playlist

Fridays, January 19th through February 23rd at 7:30 PM

Join Lucia, a Ph.D. student in physics, on an exploration of how gravitational waves are formed, how they move through the universe, and how scientists like her work to hear them.

 
 
Secret Star Poster

Back to the Moon for Good.

Saturdays, January 20th through February 24TH at 1:00 PM

Back to the Moon for Good looks at Google’s X-Prize competition to return to the Moon. This fast paced look at mankind’s exploration of the moon in the past, the present, and the future.

 
 

Spring 2018 SCHEDULE


 
Cosmic Recipe

Cosmic Recipe

Fridays, March 2nd through April 27 at 7:30 PM

The famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”  Though that may sound crazy, Sagan was onto something BIG! Want to know what? Pull up a chair at our Planetarium’s Periodic Table and learn the cosmic recipes that created everything in our world – even us!   Discover how the Big Bang cooked up everyday elements such as the calcium in our teeth, the silicon in our smart phones, and even the carbon in our apple pies in The Cosmic Recipe.

 
 
Secret Star Poster

one world, one sky

Saturdays, march 3rd through april 28th 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 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.

 
 
Last Updated: 2/25/18