New Original Living Worlds Planetarium Show Opens Nov 5 at California Academy of Sciences – San Francisco Bay Times

Premiering on November 5, 2021, the California Academy of Sciences’ newest, original, fully digital planetarium show, Living worlds, takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the ways in which life has transformed Earth’s surface and atmosphere over billions of years, and invites audiences to travel the cosmos in search of life in our solar system and beyond.

Reported by Daveed Diggs, Living worlds is the eighth in-house original production from the Academy’s award-winning viewing studio. The breathtaking and stimulating show transports viewers across our world and to the far reaches of space on a quest to understand life as an essential quality of our home planet. Along the way, we see how light and color can help planetologists spot a living world, even at great distances. From awe-inspiring expanses of space to the microscopic amoeba living in Chile’s Atacama Desert, to the ice-covered ocean of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, the 75-foot dome of the Morrison Planetarium will immerse viewers in visualizations. cutting-edge and hyperrealistic virtual environments.

Living worlds takes viewers on a journey to answer some of our biggest questions: How understanding the influence of life on our planet informs our search for life elsewhere – and what it would mean to find evidence of alien life ? Ryan Wyatt, senior director of the Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization at the California Academy of Sciences, said. “To reflect on these existential dilemmas, we dig deeper into cutting-edge science, combining the expertise and research of hundreds of scientists in dozens of disciplines and tapping into simulations and data from around the world. We hope that viewers will come away with a deeper understanding of our living world in a cosmic context, and that they will be inspired to seek an active role in the regeneration of life on Earth.

Living worlds started receiving accolades even before its premiere in San Francisco: on October 9, 2021, Living worlds was named the winner of the 2021 Dome Fest West #BestOfEarth Award for Science and Education. The film received a warm welcome from the industry when it premiered at the festival at four film festivals around the world from October 8-10, 2021: Dome Fest West in Los Angeles; the FullDome festival in Jena, Germany; Fulldome UK in Plymouth, United Kingdom; and the Dome Under Festival in Melbourne, Australia.

Living worlds follows the odyssey of life on our planet and the exploration of its possible extraterrestrial abodes beyond Earth, ”said Dr. Nathalie A. Cabrol, astrobiologist and director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute . “It brings together attention to detail and scientific rigor while always keeping it as a priority to make it visually stunning. Living worlds is a journey through time and space, where life is both the observer and the planetary experience now seeking to understand its own origin.

Living worlds begins the quest for life right here on Earth, in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, a place with environmental conditions so extreme that scientists are conducting experiments there to simulate journeys to Mars. Yet it retains life-friendly “microclimates” that are home to a multitude of living creatures, such as single-celled Cabrolae amoeba, named in honor of Dr Cabrol. By zooming out to look at Earth from space, viewers are given a new lens through which they can see its pale deserts, blue oceans, and green forests: these colors indicate a planet that is home to life. Using spectral data directly from astrobiology researchers, we see what colors reflected from a planet can reveal about the chemistry of its atmosphere, and we learn how, by separating different wavelengths of light, we can discover the spectral footprint of a planet and detect signs of life. .

As we reflect on the forms life could take in the solar system and beyond, Living worlds encourages viewers to consider how a deeper understanding of our own planet can aid the search for life across the cosmos. We are taken back in time hundreds of millions, then billions of years – before humans, before flowers, before dinosaurs or forests – in a world that seemed very different from what we call our home today. . At a time when microscopic life may have plunged our entire planet into deep frost, the land and oceans almost completely covered in ice and snow. This episode changed our planet forever, paving the way for other life forms and illustrating how Earth and the life it supports evolve in tandem.

As life took hold on Earth, Mars lost its ability to support abundant life. Walking through its arid, cratered surface, viewers see evidence of hydrothermal activity that could once have provided energy for life, walk through a region of sunken canyons known as Nili Fossae, and imagine what it might look like future missions to Mars. From there, our journey takes us to Saturn’s moon Enceladus, sinking deep beneath its icy crust into a vast ocean covering the world. We’re looking at the Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS), a future concept of a snake-like spacecraft that weaves its way through an icy crevasse to test ocean waters for microscopic organisms.

While Earth’s current spectral footprint is visible even many light years away, it shows a world out of balance, with signs of unnatural pollutants and escalating carbon dioxide threatening to dangerously heat our planet. As viewers are brought back to our planet, we glimpse a bright future: drylands turn green, biodiversity flourishes, and the planet vibrates with life. Living worlds asks the public to imagine a future in which technology enriches our planet and to consider how we can partner with our living world to regenerate and strengthen life on Earth.

Living worlds will perform daily at the Morrison Planetarium after its theatrical premiere on November 5. Later this fall, Living worlds schedules will be available on the Academy’s daily online calendar. At each Morrison Planetarium show, a presenter will share a live update on the latest scientific findings and data that inform our knowledge of life in our universe and beyond.

https://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/living-worlds

Posted on November 4, 2021


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Arline J. Mercier

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