Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Fleischmann Planetarium Announces Films and Star Shows

By Sarah Purdy

Reprinted from University of Nevada, Reno

2008 August 27

Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center on the University of Nevada, Reno campus offers two breathtaking immersive theater experiences beginning Sept. 5 -- “Solar Max,” a large-format feature film by John Weiley, and “Extreme Planets,” a full-dome digital star show by Clark Planetarium Productions. The Planetarium will also feature Clark Planetarium’s recently released full-dome digital rock ’n' roll light show, “U2.” All three shows play through Jan. 4, 2009, accompanied by a number of other planetarium favorites showing daily.

“Solar Max” SkyDome 8/70 large-format feature film transports audiences to the awesome vastness and mysterious power of our closest star as never before. Director/producer John Weiley dazzles viewers with thought-provoking concepts and jaw-dropping footage of the Earth’s sun captured from international sites including the European Space Agency/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO).

The full-dome digital star show “Black Holes” takes audiences on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe. What is a black hole? Where do they come from? Where do they go? How do we find them? Is there one on Earth’s horizon? Explore the most recent discoveries in a show featuring the latest in full-dome 3-D animation technology.

You’ve heard the band. Now see the music. Clark Planetarium Productions just launched a much-anticipated music entertainment show featuring one of the greatest bands of all time. “U2” is the first-ever full-dome production integrating the group’s timeless classics and modern hits with the latest original full-dome art and interpretation, lighting effects, laser-beam work and live-performance special effects to create a thrilling one-of-a-kind immersive theater experience. It will rock your world.

Also showing through Jan. 4, 2009, at Fleischmann Planetarium:

MacGillivray Freeman’s new Skydome 8/70 large-format feature film “The Alps” carries audiences to the sheer rock-and-ice wall known as the Eiger North Face in the thin air above Switzerland, where an American climber embarks on the most perilous and meaningful ascent of his life. In this extraordinary emotional journey through Europe’s majestic Alps, audiences experience the exhilarating true story of a man who overcomes his darkest fears to realize his greatest potential in one of the world’s most extreme environments.

“Ultimate Universe” will take you on a grand celestial tour from the outer reaches of space through wondrous galaxies to the majesty of our own galaxy. This full-dome digital star show uses the latest 3-D animation technology to reveal the awesome power of the universe and its most provocative secrets.

“Legends of the Night Sky: Orion” takes a light-hearted look at the ancient Greek mythology behind the winter constellations. The full-dome digital star show by Audio Visual Imagineering and Spitz features funny and engaging characters like Aesop the Owl and Socrates the mouse who will entertain and educate parents and guardians and their young children.

What’s happening in the sky tonight? “Live SkyTonight Star Talk” answers that question in an informal and entertaining immersive multimedia presentation aided by state-of-the-art technology, followed by telescope viewing (weather permitting) at the Planetarium’s observatory site in Rancho San Rafael Park, courtesy of the Astronomical Society of Nevada.

Narrated by National Public Radio’s Noah Adams, “Season of Light” is a full-dome digital show that celebrates many of the world’s holiday customs and explores how diverse cultures light up the season.

The Planetarium Exhibit Hall contains permanent exhibits including large-scale rotating Earth and Moon globes, a black hole demonstrator and the largest collection of meteorites in the state. The Planetarium is currently hosting an exhibition created by the University’s Department of Psychology exploring visual perception.

Fleischmann Planetarium and Science Center is open every day, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission is free to the Planetarium exhibits and gift shop. Special packages are available for school field trips and other groups. Parking is free in designated spaces in the West Stadium Parking Complex, level three, just east of the Planetarium.

For tickets, showtimes and more information, call (775) 784-4811 or visit their website.

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