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 8:30 PM as of May 1.)

Summer 2022 Schedule:

The Hot and Energetic Universe


Fridays at 8:30 PM, June 3 - June 24, 2022

Journey to three world-class observatories in Chile’s rugged Andes Mountains and arid Atacama Desert— remote, extreme regions that happen to have the perfect conditions for astronomical research. Along the way, you’ll meet an inspiring set of astronomers, engineers, technicians, and support staff who keep these large observatories running.

The Hot and Energetic Universe


Fridays at 8:30 PM, July 1 - July 29, 2022

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 screen.  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 Hot and Energetic Universe

Cosmic Colors: An Adventure Along the Spectrum

Fridays at 8:30 PM, August 5 - August 26, 2022

Why is the sky blue? Why are plants green? Learn all about color and how our eyes work. Then go beyond the visible spectrum and learn about the rest of the electro-magnetic spectrum including radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays and gamma rays.

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

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: 6/21/22