July shows at the UAA Planetarium

June 15, 2017

As Alaska’s largest planetarium, the UAA Planetarium & Visualization Theater is an immersive place to explore the world around us—from the smallest microbes to the most distant galaxies. See below to learn what’s playing this summer at the UAA Planetarium. For more information, including how to become a planetarium member, please visit uaa.alaska.edu/planetarium.

Exploding Universe, with UAA Planetarium Manager Omega Smith
Friday, July 21, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets / Preview

Out of devastating events in the cosmos comes new creation. Explosive phenomena are responsible for the way we see the universe today and not all of them happen on a grand scale.

When giant stars explode as “supernovas,” they seed the galaxies with heavy elements that make planets and life possible. Some collisions we are only just now starting to understand. For example, when black holes collide, they can throw off some of the most energetic particles known, ripping and warping space as they go. Other “explosions” have profound effects as well, such as the beauty and power of supervolcanoes, which have contributed to the transformation of our world into the life-bearing oasis we now enjoy. The smallest of explosions, such as the forced impact of atoms, can echo the foundation events of the early universe.

As the universe has transformed into the structure we live in now, even the most elementary particles have endured. This show follows the path of one of these particles, a proton, as it participates in nature’s astounding events of rebirth and renewal.

Undiscovered Worlds, with UAA Planetarium Manager Omega Smith
Friday, July 21, 8 p.m.
Tickets / Preview

Humans have long imagined exotic and intriguing worlds beyond our solar system. However, in recent years, science fiction has become science fact. With the creation of better telescopes and the improvement of detection techniques, we have discovered that our sun is not the only star with orbiting planets. Since the discovery of the first exoplanet in 1995, astronomers have discovered hundreds more orbiting other stars in our galaxy and beyond.

Neurotours, with UAA Biologist Rachael Hannah, Ph.D.
Friday, July 28, 6:30 p.m.
Tickets / Preview

In Neurotours, the latest neuroimaging technology becomes our observatory to discover the inner frontier of human consciousness. Through a live-presented planetarium show, real brain images come alive around us as we scale our inner universe.

We’ll be taken through MRI and CT scans all the way to two-photon microscopy of individual neurons. During the tour, we’ll explore imagery on scales ranging from the size of the entire head down to the sub-cellular scale, millions of times smaller. It takes us flying through the skull to the outer layers of the cerebral cortex, exploring sub-components of the brain, wandering through neurons and much more.

Throughout the journey, you get an unprecedented view of our place in the universe, and in turn, where the universe is represented in our brain (it is!).

Complex 3-D biological structures are hard to learn by looking at flat pictures in textbooks, but Neurotours does what no one has done before—it brings cutting-edge neuroscience into the planetarium and creates an experience where we all become brain experts. For most people, the tour will be their first immersive live-travel inside a real human brain… a truly mind-blowing experience!

Back to the Moon for Good, with UAA Planetarium Manager Omega Smith
Friday, July 28, 8 p.m.
Tickets / Preview

Immerse yourself in a race to return to the moon 40 years after the historic Apollo landings. See how a competition among privately funded international teams is ushering in a new era of lunar exploration. Learn about the moon’s resources and discover what humanity’s future on the moon might hold. Narrated by Tim Allen, Back To The Moon For Good presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.

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