One disadvantage of living in the city surrounded by artificial light is not being able to bask in natural light from the night sky. With the help of the Palomar Planetarium, however, people can take a virtual trip to space.
Recent nights at the planetarium have kicked off with The Sky Tonight, a live narrated show which gives the audience a look at what the sky really looks like. Planetarium Director Mark Lane, gave a presentation on astronomy subjects while the audience viewed the sky live through a telescope.
The full-dome feature, which showed after The Sky Tonight, was Stars: The Powerhouses of the Universe, and was narrated by Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker from Star Wars). The 30-minute feature was specially formatted to be viewed on the entire dome screen. The audience was immersed in the short film and transported into space.
The film goes through the journey of the stars and how they transition into their different stages of life. The animations created by the National Space Centre (Leicester, UK) show the history behind the stars and the constellations they make up.
It had been a while since I went to a planetarium show, and I completely forgot what an amazing experience it can be. Stars gave me a sense of being up in space floating among the stars and planets.
The show felt so real that at several moments in the show, I felt as if I was actually moving. Lane warned the crowd of this possibility, and suggested closing your eyes for a moment to help the feeling pass.
I enjoyed that part especially, because it felt like I was on a ride, a ride that included extremely comfortable seats which reclined back in order to view the screen entirely.
Stars is a show the whole family can enjoy. Space is such a mysterious topic that anyone will find it fascinating.
The images in the film were stunning, and the colors were so vivid.
Many people left the planetarium praising both shows with smiles on their faces. I wanted to watch it again, and invite friends and family to come along.
While waiting for the presentations to start, people were able to visit the shop in the lobby area. A variety of items were sold, including shirts, books, and galileoscopes. Proceeds went toward funding public outreach for the planetarium. The patio area was set up with telescopes for people to look through during the planetarium’s open hours.
The Palomar College Planetarium is open to the public every Friday evening.
For ticketing information and more about the Planetarium visit: http://www.palomar.edu/planetarium.