Welcome to the UWM Planetarium Press Room!
Find descriptions and photos of some of our recent events here.
Full Moon Walk
September 2 & 3, 2020
Students began a school year like no other. To celebrate Fall Welcome, thePlanetarium hosted guided full Moon walks along the Milwaukee lakefront on September 2 and 3 as part of Fall Welcome Week activities. Groups of 10-15 masked, socially distanced UWM students walked from the Lubar Welcome Center to the Milwaukee Lakefront with Planetarium Director Jean Creighton as their guide. Students chattered and kindled friendships as they witnessed the Moon rising over Lake Michigan, with the guide pointing out other night time objects like the Summer Triangle and the planet Jupiter.
Shooting Stars & Meteor Showers
August 3 & 5, 2020
The appearance of the spectacular comet NEOWISE in July and the Perseid meteor shower in August made this summer an exciting one for space enthusiasts. In preparation for the Perseid meteor shower, the UWM Planetarium hosted “Shooting Stars and Meteor Showers” for viewers to learn what these trails of light really are: debris from comets or the collisions of asteroids. These rocky meteorites are older than the Earth and help us understand the origins of life on Earth and the possibility of life elsewhere in space. Viewers also got tips about how best to look for shooting stars themselves. The show is available on demand at https://youtu.be/5uJuT3HqwCo.
Stars, Stories, & Rhythms of Africa
February 5, 2020
Over 140 visitors joined us in a celebration of African culture, with storytelling from Venice Williams and live music and dance from Panadanza Dance Company. Jean Creighton showed audiences the night sky as seen from different parts of Africa. The event was sponsored by Sociocultural Programming, the Planetarium Club and African and African Diaspora Studies.
January 10, 2020
Our Open House event welcomed an audience of almost 300 people of all ages. Everyone was curious about what’s in the night sky. As the lights turned down, the audience was taken on a sky tour with Director Jean Creighton as their guide. Jean pointed out the brightest star, Sirius in Orion, and the farthest thing in space you could see without a telescope, the Andromeda galaxy. It was like looking up in the night sky in your very own backyard without the clutter of trees or city lights. What made this experience truly wonderful was knowing that everyone was looking at the same sky. As part of the event, our visitors could enjoy free cake and there were tables for kids to color pictures of space.
December 8, 2019
Science met the arts as the UWM Collegium Musicum, directed by Tim Sterner Miller, performed seasonal music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance on period instruments. Meanwhile, Astronomer Jean Creighton gave a guided tour of stars and constellations in the winter sky.
Under the Mesoamerican Sky
October 3, 2019
At Under the Mesoamerican Sky, cosponsored by UWM’s Sociocultural Programming, more than 130 people experienced Mesoamerica’s cultural connection with the sky with a fun activity to find their mesoamerican zodiac sign. Browns Crew performed live music while visitors enjoyed food. Jean Creighton showed audiences the night sky from different mesoamerican latitudes.
2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission that first landed humans on the Moon. To celebrate, we hosted events all year long. More than 500 space enthusiasts celebrated with us at our Lunar Party on July 20, 2019. People braved the summer heat and thunderstorms to enjoy ice cream, have their faces painted, take selfies with a replica astronaut, and attend mini stargazing shows and guest lectures.
Stars ‘n S’mores
August 28, 2019
At this popular annual favorite Welcome Week event, over 600 people enjoyed delicious s’mores while gazing at summer constellations both in the Planetarium and through our telescopes on the Physics building’s rooftop Skydeck.
March 29 – May 3, 2019
Visitors came to Arabian Nights to learn about all aspects of Arab culture, from food to architecture, as well as its many contributions to astronomy. Guest speakers Lina Badwan and Mohamed Maache gave personal accounts of their homelands, Palestine and Algeria. Visitors gazed at the starry night sky as astronomer Jean Creighton shared her favorite story from “One Thousand and One Nights.” “What I like the most about presenting at the Planetarium is educating people about my culture, and I love how interested the audience is about other cultures,” said Lina.
Stars, Stories & Rhythms of Africa
February 6, 2019
During the presentation, storyteller Kavon Cortez-Jones talked about the Big Bang that created the universe and the earth, as well as how people poured out of Africa and spread across the whole planet. In between the two planetarium shows, Africa Alive Drum and Dance performed dances from Senegal and Guinea. The event was sponsored by Sociocultural Programming, the Planetarium Club and African and African Diaspora Studies.
January 20, 2019
Over 100 people braved single-digit temperatures to witness a total lunar eclipse late into the night of Sunday, January 20, 2019. Visitors peered through telescopes and binoculars outside and warmed up with hot chocolate and indoor stargazing shows inside the Planetarium.