All shows start promptly at 7:00 PM and last approximately 1 hour. A live tour of the current night sky is a part of every program. Reserve your seats now by calling 414-773- 3390 and following the prompts on the reservation line. Be prepared to state the date you would like to attend, your last name with spelling, the number of guests in your party, and a phone number where you can be reached in case the show needs to be postponed or canceled.
Phantom of the Universe
Tuesday October 3rd , Thursday October 5th
Scientists around the world are searching for a phantom – Dark Matter – which constitutes 85% of the matter in the universe. This show previews the hoped-for discovery of this phantom at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the Homestake Mine in the Black Hills of South Dakota and at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland.
See the first hints of dark matter’s existence through the eyes of the irascible Fritz Zwicky,the scientist who coined the term "dark matter." Follow the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy, as she measured the angular motion of galaxies, showing there is large invisible mass (dark matter). We learn how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.
Thursday November 2nd , Tuesday November 7th
Meet Apollo Aurora, host of the Planetarium Channel’s universally loved gravity news source, Defying Gravity, It Is Rocket Science! With special robot correspondents Apple 1-6- 8-6 and EGR-1, Apollo and her team will explore
rocket power, gravity on other planets, monstrous black holes and even what keeps us grounded on Earth! Tune into this brand new planetarium show and uncover the mysteries of gravity.
‘Tis the Season
Friday December 15th , Thursday December 21st , and Friday December 22nd
Join us for the full-dome version of this holiday favorite that includes additional footage not seen in previous presentations! This show recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice - from Christian, Jewish, Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Irish, and Mexican cultures. It also takes a look at some of our more light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, the custom of decking the halls with greenery and candles to Santa Claus. The primary focus of this show are
possible astronomical explanations for the star of Bethlehem.
Thursday January 4th , Tuesday January 9th
Join us in the Western outdoors, listening to star legends and cowboy tales around the campfire. Our cowboy astronomer gives us his perspective of the night sky, and the things he's found out over a lifetime of stargazing. Learn about star colors and temperatures, find the Andromeda Galaxy, young stars and supernovae, and what
various cultures called the Pleiades. Hear two Native American star tales: the Fisher story of the cruel chieftain holding the birds of summer captive, and the Devil's Tower tale of the Seven Indian Maidens and the Bear. We see the Anasazi pictographs of the supernova of 1054, and Sirius rising over Wyoming's Medicine Wheel. We end on a thoughtful, philosophical manner, as our cowboy muses about the constellation where he wants to head when he departs this Earth. Narrated by Baxter Black.
Back to the Moon for Good
Thursday February 1st , Tuesday February 6th
This show summarizes the historical missions to the Moon during the 1960s and early 1970s, and what they taught us about the Moon's origin, composition, structure, and the potential raw materials on its surface. It then chronicles teams from around the world, their innovation and engineering as they compete to win the
Google Lunar X-Prize. The program closes with a glimpse of a plausible scenario for humankind's future on the Moon. An update on the teams still in the running will be provided as the deadline to claim the prize approaches at the end of 2017.
Out There – the Quest for Exoplanets
Thursday March 8th , Tuesday March 13th
For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that Earth-sized planets are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Two Small Pieces of Glass
Tuesday April 10th , Thursday April 12th
Follow two students as they interact with a female astronomer at a local star party. Along the way, the students learn the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. Aiming to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages, the show explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.
Cosmic Recipe – Setting the Periodic Table
Tuesday May 1st , Thursday May 3rd
The famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” Join us for this program that explores where the elements that make up you and me, an apple pie, and the entire universe came from. Explore the lives of stars, how they produce energy through nuclear fusion, and how they even create new elements during the final stages of their lives. Watch for the appearance of Gary Sampson, long-time teacher in the Wauwatosa School District and director of the planetarium that now bears his name!