Mueller Planetarium's 'Flight to the Moon' starts Oct. 3

Released on 09/23/2009, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009

WHERE: Mueller Planetarium, south of 14th and Vine streets

Lincoln, Neb., September 23rd, 2009 —

Mueller Planetarium's new fulldome show will be a "big hit" -- for science. Beginning Oct. 3, the planetarium will feature "Flight to the Moon," a show exploring NASA's LCROSS mission. The purpose of the mission is to search for the presence of water on the moon by essentially taking a two-part sledgehammer to the moon's surface. "Flight," along with a short fulldome presentation of amateur astrophotography, will be shown Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. at Mueller Planetarium, located inside Morrill Hall south of 14th and Vine streets.

On June 18, NASA launched two unmanned spacecraft to investigate the moon, the LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) and LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter). The LRO is mapping the surface of the moon in unprecedented detail, while the LCROSS is scheduled to physically hit the moon with two separate probes. The blasts will produce a crater on the moon nearly half the size of an Olympic swimming pool and send a plume of lunar matter over six miles high -- potentially revealing the existence of vapor and ice. LCROSS is expected to smash into the moon's south pole on Oct. 9, ushering in a new era of space exploration on the moon. Professional and amateur astronomers all over the world will observe the impacts and resulting dust cloud in near real-time.

"Flight to the Moon" gives audiences as closer look at the LCROSS mission by taking them on a voyage through space as it depicts the historic collision with Earth's closet neighbor. The planetarium will provide updates on the data collected from the mission as they are announced. "Flight" will be accompanied by a short fulldome presentation of amateur astrophotography (produced under a grant from the Nebraska Spacegrant Consortium), which takes audiences from the moon to distant galaxies. Afterward, there will be a short introduction to the current night sky. The entire presentation will last approximately 30 minutes.

Effective Oct. 3, the planetarium schedule will be:

- Saturdays and Sundays: 2 p.m. "Flight To the Moon;" 3 p.m. "Dawn of the Space Age"

- Thursdays: 7 p.m. "Black Holes"

Planetarium show times and schedules are subject to change. Visit for latest information. Mueller Planetarium is in the University of Nebraska State Museum (Morrill Hall), south of 14th and Vine streets on the UNL City Campus. Tickets to planetarium shows include admission to the museum. Prices are $8 for adults, $5.50 for children age 5-18, and $2.50 for children 4 and under. For members of the Friends of NU State Museum with membership cards, tickets are $2.50 for adults and $2 for children. Tickets for UNL faculty, staff and students and immediate family are $3 (with valid UNL ID). Tickets are sold at the museum front desk the day of the show. For more information on planetarium shows, astronomy and space science, visit For more information on the museum, visit