Imagine Earth were a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren?
This scenario sets the stage forEarths Wild Ride,a new movie that immerses audiences in a 3-D tour of Earths history and natural wonders. Families can experience the film at 9 p.m. Friday, June 13, at theTomchin Planetariumin 425 Hodges Hall on West Virginia Universitys Downtown Campus. Planetarium events are free and open to the public.
Set in the future, the movie opens with a grandfather and his grandchildren gazing into space from the surface of the moon in 2081. As they watch the moons shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder.
While learning about eclipses, the Great Ice Age, Earths water cycle and differences between the Earth and the moon, the audience is taken on a rollercoaster-like ride through canyons of raging rivers and hot flowing lava.
Also on June 13 at 8 p.m., the planetarium will offerSaturn, the Ring World,a program featuring the Cassini-Huygens spacecraftsmission to Saturn. The audience will see Saturn up close and all around them in this special planetarium feature.
Tomchin Planetariumhas acquired a new digital projector that will allow full dome coverage of graphics, both still and animated, giving a much more immersive, exciting and educational experience.
In addition, the planetarium at WVU will offer free, public showings in August ofIts About Time,a show that will allow audience members to contemplate fascinating technology of the future. Travel to orbit in a space elevator, and use a time telescope to watch the Big Bang, the birth and death of a star, or an explosion on the sun. Explore these wonderful inventions from thescience futureto discover the many clocks that keep time in the Universe.Its About Timechronicles the cycles that rule our planet and our lives, and ends with the entirety of time since the Big Bang, compressed into a single day.
For a full schedule of events at Tomchin Planetarium, visithttp://www.as.wvu.edu/~planet/planetarium_show_dates_and_times.htm. While planetarium events are free and open to the public, reservations are required and can be made by calling 304-293-3422 ext. 1443.
TheTomchin Planetariumis located in theDepartment of Physicsin theEberly College of Arts and Sciencesat WVU .