Science Under the Dome

Science Under the Dome is the planetarium's free public lecture series, offered monthly throughout the school year.

Title with two images below it, along with additional text describing date and time of event. First image is the photograph of Black Hole M87, an orangish red circle with a dark black circle within it. The second circle is a large telescope in a wooded area with a blue sky full of stars above it.

Join us Wednesday May 15th at 7pm for

Photographing the M87 Galaxy's Black Hole

Presented by Ben Coughenour (WSU Physics) and Dr. Jerry Dunifer (Emeritus, WSU)

*Regretfully Dr. Savory is no longer able to attend.


Last month scientists announced that they have created an image on a black hole for the first time, using the Event Horizon Telescope. 

Dr. Jerry Dunifer(Emeritus, WSU Physics & Astronomy) has visited most of the telescopes that make up the Event Horizons Telescope. He'll take us on a photographic tour of them to start us off. 

Ben Coughenour, Doctoral Candidate in Physics & Astronomy and Planetarium Coordinator, will then discuss the findings of the Event Horizon Telescope and the significance of this discovery within the field of astrophysics.  Ben has a research focus on the astrophysics of compact objects, which include black holes.

The event is free, but seating is limited in the planetarium. Please RSVP here to reserve your seat.

The Wayne State Planetarium is dedicated to the promotion of science. We are proud to feature a series of free public lectures covering modern topics in science.

Join us Wednesday May 29th at 7pm at Detroit HopCat for 

The Photograph that Changed Gravity: The 100th anniversary of the 1919 Eclipse Experiment

Presented by Dr. Bill Llope (WSU Physics & Astronomy)

One hundred years ago on May 29, 1919 a conceptually simple, but difficult to execute, experiment was performed at two locations on the globe. The aim was simply to take precise pictures of a star field during a total solar eclipse. The experiment was successful, but just barely so, and showed that gravity is better described by a new theory called General Relativity (by you know who) than the Newtonian picture that had been hugely successful for the previous two centuries.

Dr. Bill Llope (WSU Physics & Astronomy) will discuss for a general audience the experimental expeditions that set out from England to Sobral, Brazil and to the island of Principé that managed to take the needed photographs exactly a century ago. It wasn't easy. These photographs forever changed our view of gravity, and indeed of space-time itself, and made the theorist that suggested the radical new theory a household name the world around. Please join us on this fabulous historical journey in physics and enjoy the great food and drink at HopCat! 

LAB Nights are similar to our Science Under the Dome lecture series, but held on occasion at regional bars for special occasions.  The event is free but space is limited and reservations via the WSU Events Calendar are required. Please RSVP Here.