Tickets now available online, please register with link below

September 6th – Is Pluto A Planet?
By Dr. Adam Jensen (UNK – Astronomy) At the time of its discovery in 1930, Pluto was considered the sought-after "Planet X," the ninth planet in the Solar System.  It remained that way until 2006 when the International Astronomical Union controversially voted on a new definition for "planet" that moved Pluto to the status of "dwarf planet."  The situation ignited the interest and passion of the public, many of whom rallied to Pluto's defense — how could the IAU demote poor, tiny Pluto? But what objects have been considered planets throughout history?  Is the IAU's definition a good one?  What other objects like Pluto are out there?  These questions and more will be discussed, but please...check your nostalgia at the door!
October 4th – The Local Group
By Dr. Joel Berrier (UNK – Astronomy) Our Milky Way Galaxy is not alone. It is surrounded by many smaller satellite galaxies, which orbit it. Further away, several other large galaxies, with satellites of their own, are bound together with the Milky Way by the force of gravity. These objects are collectively called the Local Group. In this talk, we will discuss our Galaxy as well as its nearest neighbors.
November 1st – The Solar Neutrino Problem
By Dr. Jeremy Armstrong (UNK – Physics)
Neutrinos are particles produced in some nuclear processes.  The sun produces them as it burns hydrogen into helium.  In the 1960s, Ray Davis and John Bahcall set out to measure them.  In a tank of drycleaner deep within South Dakota's Homestake Mine, Davis measured one-third the amount of neutrinos that were predicted by Bahcall's calculations.  This discrepancy was dubbed "The Solar Neutrino Problem."  Subsequent experiments in Japan, the Soviet Union, and Italy confirmed the problem.  Many solutions were proposed, including the eventual solution: neutrino oscillations.  In 2001, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, published the results that confirmed neutrino oscillations and solved the problem, leading to Nobel Prizes for Davis in 2002 and others for neutrino oscillations in 2015.  These experiments created the field of neutrino physics that is still very much alive today.

December 6th – Backyard Astronomy
By Dr. Brandon Marshall (UNK – Astronomy) Winter in the northern hemisphere plays host to some of the brightest objects in the night sky. In this show we will gaze at the constellations while discussing their history and mythological stories, use the stars to find our bearings, and scan the sky for star clusters and planets that can be seen from your own backyard this winter with no special equipment required.

The UNK planetarium shows are free and open to the public. Tickets are available through the link below. The shows are approximately 30-45 minutes, and may feature a tour of the current evening sky and/or a segment highlighting a particular topic of interest. All shows start at 7:00 PM.  We graciously accept any donation of dry or canned goods for a local food pantry.

  1.  Only children 5 years and older will be admitted to public shows.   
  2.  We do not accept advance reservations for public shows. 
  3.  No food or drinks are allowed inside the planetarium. 
  4.  Cell phones should be off during a show and not used in any way. 
  5.  You will not be admitted once a show has started. 
  6.  You will not be readmitted if you leave during the show. 

We provide free educational shows to school groups and private organizations (minimum of 20 guests) during the Fall and Spring semesters. If interested, Request a Planetarium Show.