University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Planetarium Letterhead

Friday Night Show

2013 Schedule

Birth of the Universe
(Jan 25 - March 1)

Planets Near and Far
(Mar 29 - May 10)

Lunar Light
(June 21 - July 19, no show July 5)

Shooting Stars
Sep 6 - Sept 27)

Fall Constellations
(Nov 1 to Dec 13)

Archived Shows

Special Event

Black Hole Bash

Thursday, October 3 and Friday October 4, 2013
5:00-9:00 p.m.

Manfred Olson Planetarium, Physics Building

Black Hole Bash is a two-day extravaganza to celebrate the extreme gravity of black holes and how we investigate their intriguing nature.  The event will run from 5-9 p.m. both days (October 3-4) with a hands-on exhibit, discussions with black hole experts, a special planetarium show, and stargazing (weather permitting).  The party atmosphere will be complete with a cookout and music.  General admission is $3.  

The UWM Planetarium's special show will explain the gravitational waves that were predicted by Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity and how we are using them to better understand the nature of black holes.  The planetarium show will be 20 minutes long and held at 5:10 pm, 5:45 pm, and 6:20 pm both days.

Aside from the exhibit, guests will be able to listen to in-depth discussions with black hole experts from the Physics Department at UWM.  There will be six 30 minute lectures covering five different topics in Physics room 137.  The talks are geared toward general audiences.

7 pm Thursday and Friday: History of Black Holes - Dr. Patrick Brady explains how the idea of dark stars gave way to the current idea of a black hole as a place in spacetime from which nothing can escape, not even light. The discussion ends with tantalizing hints of how important black holes are in understanding the universe. 

7:30 pm Thursday: Finding and forming black holes - Dr. David Kaplan describes the intriguing observations of the first black hole candidates and how they formed in the aftermath of a massive stars' explosion.

8 pm Thursday: Evaporation of Black Holes - Dr. Jolien Creighton will explain how black holes vanish. The idea of black holes evaporating is one of Stephen Hawking’s most celebrated contributions.

7:30 pm Friday: Black Holes and Galaxies - Dr. Dawn Erb will explain her studies of the relationship between the formation of galaxies and the supermassive black holes at their center.

8 pm Friday: Looking for Galactic Black Holes - Dr. Xavier Siemens will describe the the innovative ways we have to look for the merger of supermassive black holes.

The exhibit, Astronomy's New Messenger: Listening to the Universe with Gravitational Waves, will give guests the opportunity to learn about black holes and the exciting work that is being done by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).  This traveling exhibit was developed with National Science Foundation funding.  The exhibit will be open 5-9 pm both days.

Explore the cosmos with us as we look in the night sky with telescopes for astronomical objects.  Stargazing will begin after 8:20 pm on top of the Physics building at the observatory (weather permitting).  Note, the observatory is not wheelchair accessible.  

Relax to music for a bit as local Milwaukee artists will be playing live during the Bash.  On Thursday Jerry Quint will be playing from 5-6:30 pm and The Lemniscate Equation (featuring Eric Burant and Joel Kolata)will be playing from 6:30-7:30 pm.  On Friday, Robert Knapp will be playing from 5-7 pm and Flag Signals (featuring Scott Cary and Amanda Huff) will be playing from 7-8:30 pm.

There will be various food and drinks available for purchase including brats, veggie brats, chips, soft drinks, and water. 

The event is hosted by the UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium and the UWM Leonard E. Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics. 

We accept cash (please bring small bills, it's hard for us to break large ones) and checks.  Unfortunately, we don't accept debit or credit cards.  There is an ATM machine in the EMS building next to the Physics building.  This event is open to everyone but parents should use their discretion for children under 4. 

First time at the planetarium?

For more information on how to find us, please see Directions & Parking. For more information, call 414-229-4961 or email

We look forward to exploring the cosmos with you!