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 - reservations and advanced ticket purchases 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 8:30 PM as of May 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.

Winter 2024 Schedule


 

Totality poster

Totality

Friday evenings at 7:30 PM from March 1 to March 29, 2024

This program is all about eclipses, from lunar to total solar. We cover how they occur and what happens when they do. We look back to the proof of general relativity and look forward to upcoming eclipses and where to witness them. Our production includes a variety of wonderful styles, from spectacular space environments to humorous pop-up books. A very special part of the show relates, in a very human way, what happens when you are caught in the shadow of the Moon and the Sun is plunged into a total solar eclipse. 

 

Lights Out! poster

LIGHTS OUT

Saturday afternoons at 1:00 PM from March 2 to March 30, 2024

Explore fascinating eclipse stories--from long ago scariness--to amazing stories of discovery. Experience the wonder of totality! A timeless, family show.

 

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: 2/28/24