Since the dawn of time, space and the stars have kept the unexplainable curiosity of the human race. Thanks to the Manfred Olson Planetarium the students of UW-Milwaukee and the entire community alike can enhance and continue their ancestral curiosity of the great beyond.
Located on campus in the Physics Building, the Manfred Olson Planetarium showcases the majesty of space and astronomy for almost 50 years. Thanks to intellect, the community and innovation, the interest and popularity of the planetarium has only increased over the years.
In 2007, Dr. Jean Creighton became director of the planetarium, and with that came many innovative ideas to improve the popularity and viewing experience, such as astronomical programs offered to the general public and special Friday night shows. These shows are creative and engaging presentations that last for 4-6 weeks at a time, every Friday from 7 to 8p.m.
Their most recent presentation is titled “The Red Planet” and chronicles the exploration of Mars and the possible future of what humans might do with the planet. All of the information is gathered from NASA through the rovers that explored Mars. They foresee that humans may be living on Mars by the year 2024, and are already training for that very mission.
The Red Planet features the past, current and future endeavors of the Mars Exploration Rover program. The show takes the audience on an in-depth look at the rover progress starting with an early rover, Opportunity, continues with the current rover, Curiosity, and includes the future rover, Mars 2020. It examines the obstacles that need to be overcome, the scientific findings from Mars and the impact on human exploration.
People of all age groups, from toddlers to seniors, came out to enjoy The Red Planet and other engaging and Friday night shows.
“We hope to shed light on the accomplishments of our space program and what this means for our future,” said Jean Creighton, director of the UWM Planetarium.