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.

Summer 2024 Schedule



CapCom Go! poster

CapCom Go!  The Apollo Story

Friday evenings at 8:30 PM from June 7 to June 28, 2024

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.


Unveiling the Invisible Universe poster

Unveiling the Inivisble Universe

Friday evenings at 8:30 PM from July 5 to July 26, 2024

For thousands of years the humans observed the light coming from the night sky with their eyes. In the beginning of the 17th century, the invention of the telescope by Galileo revolutionized our knowledge of the Universe.  In the 20th century with the advent of rockets, it became possible to go above the Earth’s atmosphere and observe X-ray and gamma ray radiation which are the marks of the hot and violent Universe. But it is not only light that can give us information about the cosmos. Neutrinos and cosmic rays also provide vital information.  Finally, the detection by the LIGO experiment of gravitational waves from two merging black holes opened a new window in astrophysics.


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: 7/15/24