Planetarium offers new space adventures

Visitors can watch a film about what a NASA mission uncovered during a 40-year journey to explore distant planets

Planetarium offers new space adventures

Photo Credit: Uma Vision

This holiday season, Space for Life and the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan are offering out-of-this-world experiences that will offer an up-close look at space. No PhD or astronaut suit required.

The award-winning film Voyager: The Never-Ending Journey is being shown in the Planetarium’s immersive 360° dome theatre. In eye-popping detail, the film tells the spectacular story of the space mission that started in 1977. Forty-four years ago, two space probes were launched by NASA to explore the solar system’s most distant planets. Since then, the twin Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft have travelled further than any other mission, allowing scientists to learn new facts about our distant neighbouring planets, such as the presence of active volcanoes on Jupiter’s large moon Io the intricacies of Saturn’s rings.

Onboard, they are carrying a message, engraved on golden records, intended for extraterrestrial civilizations. These records include 115 images of the Earth, 12 minutes of sounds, greetings in 55 languages, and 90 minutes of music; a time capsule view into our world.

Both Voyagers are expected to transmit data for at least another decade (at that point, their power sources will no longer supply enough energy to send information back to earth).

Watch in awe

Four decades later, the UMA Vision Production (that creates educational films with immersive imagery) on the mission allows viewers to watch in awe as they soar over Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and their moons. Running around 25 minutes, you can pair the film with another of the Planetarium’s features, such as Birth of Planet Earth, Space Explorers: the ISS Experience, or Passport to the Universe.

Launch of the James Webb Space Telescope

On December 25, at 7 a.m. gather ‘round to watch live on Facebook as an Ariane 5 rocket from the European Space Agency takes off from Kourou, Guyana. Onboard is the largest space telescope ever built in the world: the James Webb. The event will be hosted by astronomers and science communicators of the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium and a few guests, including Lisa Dang, a doctoral student in astrophysics at McGill University, and Jonathan Gagné, scientific advisor at the Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan and associate professor at l’Université de Montréal.

And on December 21, celebrate the winter solstice with family-friendly activities, craft stations, stargazing, and more. To find out more about the event, visit calendrier.espacepourlavie.ca/celebrate-the-winter-solstice.

The Planetarium Rio Tinto Alcan is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays; and from 9 a.m. to 8:30 pm, Thursday to Saturday. Check the website for reservation information, holiday schedules, and COVID-19 health regulations.
espacepourlavie.ca/en/planetarium