2600 Canyon Road
What do we know about black matter? How did we learn about it? Where does it exist?
Join Dr. Galen Gisler for an astronomy show on dark matter and a screening of the new film Phantom of the Universe.
About Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter
Phantom of the Universe is a full-dome planetarium show that showcases an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider.
The show will reveal the first hints of its existence through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.” It describes the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummets deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine.
From there, it journeys across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter.
Galen Gisler was born under the dark and starry skies of eastern New Mexico and eventually found his way back to his home state. With a Bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge (England), Galen went on to postdoctoral positions at the Leiden University Observatory (Netherlands) and Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona). He spent two years at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he met his wife Susan. In 1981 he began a 25-year career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, involved in a variety of activities including extragalactic jets, particle beams, plasmas, astronomical transients, adaptive processing, and hydrocode simulations of impact processes and tsunamis. In 2006 he and Susan moved to Norway where Galen held a senior research position at the Center for the Physics of Geological Processes at the University of Oslo. They returned to Los Alamos late in 2012 to enjoy the mountains. Although semi-retired, Galen works as an Associate at LANL on ways of defending the Earth against asteroid impacts. Galen and Susan have two children, Andy who lives in Boulder and works as an aerospace engineer, and Ellie who lives in New Jersey and works in music arts management.
Because we only have 50 seats in the planetarium, we ask that you please purchase your tickets in advance. Tickets may be purchased by visiting or calling the Los Alamos Nature Center (505-662-0460). Admission: $6/adult, $4/child.
Planetarium shows are not recommended for kids under age 4.
Photo from Phantom of the Universe film. It shows a computerized rendering showing the distribution of dark matter as two galaxy clusters collide.