*NEW* Saturdays & Sundays, 11:15 am: Kids’ Planetarium Show
Saturdays and Sundays in April at 11:15 am, enjoy a selected full dome planetarium show suitable for children!
12 noon: “The Sun, Our Living Star”
The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilizations. Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined. Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive full-dome format.
2 pm: “Dark”
DARK is a fulldome movie that explains and explores the nature of dark matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe. The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time – the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years – the unimaginable depths of deep time, of which a human life is but a flickering instant. But in that instant, we can grasp its immensity and, through science, we can attempt to understand it. The movie is presented by Dr Alan Duffy, a brilliant young astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at the University of Western Australia – who creates simulations of dark matter evolution inside supercomputers. Alan introduces us to the idea of dark matter, why astronomers think it exists, and explains why radio astronomy is so well-suited to its discovery. We explore why the new Australian Square Kilometer Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) Telescope, in remote Western Australia, is so important in this scientific quest. But this is only the beginning. We journey through completely immersive visualizations of dark matter evolution calculated upon some of the world’s fastest supercomputers – cosmological visions on a truly vast scale, in which galaxies themselves are but points of light, distributed across far larger intergalactic structures of Dark Matter. These visualizations, developed by Paul Bourke, demonstrate the cutting-edge of contemporary supercomputer visualization of massive scientific datasets and astrophysical simulation. It sounds like Science Fiction, but it’s not. It’s the real stuff. Real Data, seen in this way for the very first time
3 pm: “Wildest Weather”
Witness the most beautiful, powerful, and mysterious weather phenomena in the solar system. Wildest Weather in the Solar System takes audiences through the thick atmosphere of Venus, magnetic storms on the sun, liquid methane showers on Titan, and anticyclones whirling at hundreds of miles per hour on Jupiter. Packed with eye-popping visuals, high-end CGI, and cutting-edge science. You’ll be glad you live on Earth.