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UWM Manfred Olson Planetarium

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Built in 1965, the Planetarium opened its doors in 1966 and was named after Manfred Olson (1903-1966), a professor of physics from 1931 to 1963.

The Manfred Olson Planetarium is housed in the Physics Department at UW-Milwaukee. The theater is equipped with a Spitz A3P optomechanical projector that projects stars, planets, the Sun, and the Moon on the Planetarium’s 30-foot dome. There is also an Observatory deck on the roof of the Physics building which is used for stargazing sessions. We own and operate a Meade 10″ LX200, Meade 226, Celestron-8, Astroscan, Unitron D102, and a 12-inch Meade reflector telescope. Built in 1965, the Planetarium opened its doors in 1966 and was named after Manfred Olson (1903-1966), a professor of physics from 1931 to 1963. A native of Wisconsin, Olson’s 32-year career took him to such places as the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory (1943) and to Los Alamos, New Mexico (1947-1949) as senior physicist in the research and development of Geiger counter systems. Current director Dr. Jean Creighton began in 2007 with the dream of heightening the Planetarium’s visibility among broad audiences. The Planetarium is supported by the UW-Milwaukee Leonard E Parker Center for Gravitation, Cosmology and Astrophysics. Due to COVID-19, our operations have changed. We are holding virtual public events on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale; all contributions support our undergraduate students who develop our programs. We are also accepting private reservations.

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