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New show takes audiences to the moon and back

Leah Baena/The Telescope

“Moons: Worlds of Mystery” made its premier Sept. 18 and will be at Palomar’s Planetarium for the next six months, according to officials.

Actor Ed Helms, famous for his role as Stuart Price in the movie “The Hangover,” narrates the action, as the program takes guests through a digitized projection of the many moons in the universe.

“We have only known of the moon,” Helm’s voice echoes through the venue. “It seems there is plenty to discover about our nearest neighbor.”

While it is not a well-known fact that our solar system consists of many moons, this show is a unique informational tool used to explain that each planet has at least one of its own, with the exception of Venus and Mercury.

“I have to admit it’s perhaps one of the best shows we have ever shown.” Planetarium Director Mark Lane said. “It’s visually very stunning, to be able to fly and land on the moon of Titan, look around and take off again. When it comes to the audience and how much I think they’ll enjoy it, this show has a lot to offer.”

This film delivers the audience from planet earth to outer space while covering the history of moons that once were and some that are still present and active in our galaxy, one in particular that was mentioned by Lane is Saturn’s moon Titan.

Cali Brown, 9, accompanied by her school’s robotics team, said she carpooled from San Diego specifically for the premier.

“I thought it was crazy that there was an entire lake of methane on Titan,” she said as she clutched her notepad in her right hand, with an eager smile on her face.

The show proved to be welcoming oto all ages, and able to inform many of a literally universal topic.

Although the school’s Planetarium is almost three years old, it is still fairly new to the community and growing in audience attendance.

“It is definitely drawing in a bigger audience because it is a bigger building,” Lane said.

Prior to the showing of “Moons”, the venue displays a show known as “The Sky Tonight,” a full dome feature the Planetarium has been doing since the opening of the new building. As the title hints, the show is specifically catered to what is current in the night sky, according to the time of year.

Not only does the newer venue draw in a larger audience, it was designed specifically for the edification and efficiency of the galaxies current and past events.

“I was the one who worked with the architects and essentially the Planetarium has my fingerprints all over it, they basically built what I asked them to. It came out really well. I’m very pleased with it,” Lane said.

The sky is artificially set to the 8 p.m., and guests are then transported to a pine tree-filled meadow accompanied by sound effects of crickets and owls. This action is made to eliminate something known as light pollution, the interference in the skyline made by exposed lighting from underneath.

This is made possible by a system known as Digistar, which creates a realistic projection of space for exploring. The system also enables the host to connect the stars on the screen, forming constellations while explaining all kinds of mythology regarding the galaxy, giving the audience a chance to take a causal trip to Saturn’s rings and back to earth all in 30 minutes

The Planetarium is open to the public every Friday night. “The Sky Tonight” starts at 7 p.m. and “Moons: Worlds of Mystery” starts at 8:15 p.m. Tickets cost $6 general and $4 senior, children, military, staff and student. For more information, visit www.palomar.edu/planetarium.

 

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