University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

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A Tour of the Solar System
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Jean Creighton, Director
Physics Building 150
1900 E Kenwood Blvd
Milwaukee, WI 53211


News from 2010

Fall Pattern Festivities

The first special event of the autumn season, Fall Patterns took place over the weekend of November 13 and 14. It was a successful event with over 90 people. The audiences sipped hot cocoa and cider while they socialized before showings.

FallpatternsJean Creighton, director of the planetarium provided insight on how to locate the fall constellations and a look at the mythology behind the patterns. As the show ended with the rising sun, the audience participated in a constellation challenge. There were seven winners who received prizes from our generous donors; Beans & Barley, Capricio Salon and Spa, Comet Cafe, Roast, and UWM Bookstore.

If you didn't get a chance to make it this special event, or you want to see more shows at the planetarium, make sure to check out our Friday night shows featuring the constellations of the zodiac until December 10.

Greek Culture & Travel Continuing Education Class: Spots Still Open!

Have an interest in Greek Culture? Check out this great course through the UWM School of Continuing Education. Spots are still available!

Greek Culture and Travel: The Traditions of Modern Greece

2 Wed., Sept. 22 & 29, 2010
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education
Instructor: Jean Creighton, PhD
Fee: $35

See this fascinating country through the eyes of someone who grew up there and returns regularly. Jean Creighton, director of UWM's Manfred Olson Planetarium, shares her impressions of modern Greek culture, daily life, customs, cuisine, and language. Explore an array of gorgeous ancient temples and exotic attractions while learning about the rich and thrilling history surrounding them.

Registration: On-line or by phone at 414-227-3200

Three Nights of Fun: Summer Starfest 2010

What do you get when you add summer constellations, an amusing contest that challenges your knowledge of locating those constellations, and prizes? You get the fun UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium's Summer Starfest event! For three nights (Aug 2-4) adults and children came to discover, or maybe re-discover in some cases, several different summer constellations and their intriguing stories. Audiences watched attentively as Director Dr. Jean Creighton delightfully introduced each constellation and where they can be found in the night sky. Afterwards everyone was given a star map to test what they learned. The person(s) who found the most constellations were given wonderful prizes including a congratulatory certificate, a family membership for free admittance to the UWM Planetarium for one year and free ticket to the Milwaukee Art Museum's After Dark series graciously donated for our event. There were a total of eight winners and three honorary mentions. 169 people attended the event in total.

Congratulations to the winners and honorary mentions of the event! Dan B., Philip & Alexander C., Rhonda N., Stephen N., Susan & David R, Vickie S., Bess W., Dave W., Dione W.

A Summer Solstice to Remember

North American NebulaThanks to all who joined us for a summer solstice celebration at the “Solstice Social” on June 20th and 21st. Over 85 attendees got to see the wonders of the summer sky, view amazing astronomical objects, and learn about the Greek hero, Hercules.Thanks again to Cold Stone Creamery for providing delicious ice cream for everyone after the event!

An Out of this World Proposal

ProposalThe UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium's night sky offers the perfect backdrop for this Milwaukee couple. By Rose Hebein

The saying goes, "When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true." As this tune played in the background, David Siewert proposed to Felicia Vastalo under a blanket of stars at the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.

The couple had one of their first dates at the Planetarium and they even remember the name of the show that night, Northern Lights. Now, more than a year later, this venue still holds a special place in both of their hearts.

"That he proposed in this spot is very romantic, special to both of us, and very unique," said Felicia.

As their song played during their special private show, David got down on one knee and popped the question. For a couple who has had so many of their special moments and memories against the backdrop of the night sky, this moment could not have been more perfect. Surprised and delighted, Felicia said yes.

David, a current MBA student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and director of development at Children's Hospital and Health System Foundation, and Felicia, a librarian at the Medical College of Wisconsin, both share a love of stargazing, looking for constellations, and wishing on the night's first star together. They look forward to attending more shows in the future to remember this special night.

"We are so grateful, not only for this opportunity for a private show, but also that a resource like this exists for students and community members," said David.

The UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium offers private shows for special events, as well as $2 Friday night shows, great for date night, that are open to the public year round.

Clearly, their wishes on the first stars of the night during their relationship were granted, and their love will continue to shine as bright as the stars for years to come.

Congratulations to Michelle Young of Milwaukee, who won a year long subscription to ASTRONOMY magazine!

Stars in the Tropics, the planetarium's first ever benefit event, is a huge success!

tropics2Visitors were transported to the night sky in tropical regions of the world to stargaze at constellations not visible in Milwaukee. Sara Gil won a free membership to the UWM Planetarium at the AstroRaffle and all visitors enjoyed free coffee from Alterra and cookies made by the planetarium's staff and interns. We hope to see you next year!