Staring up at the ceiling of a planetarium always feels a bit surreal. From watching the sunset in sped up time, to outlining constellations with one’s fingers while staring at thousands of tiny dots on the ceiling, to feeling one’s stomach drop while plummeting through the stars faster than the speed of light, there is just something amazing about leaning back in that chair, looking up at something so big, and feeling so small. Fiske Planetarium on CU Campus provides just that: the childlike wonder of seeing the universe in all its complexity and vastness.
Fiske features a newly remodeled IMAX format planetarium, which features many presentations and also state of the art laser shows with live performances. Currently the Planetarium is showing three different shows: “Back to the Moon for Good,” “Dynamic Earth,” and “Super Volcanoes.” There are also many family shows including: “The Life of Trees,” “Stars and Lasers,” “Moons and Lasers” and more. Late night laser shows include a mind-boggling laser presentation with music from artists including Lady Gaga, Pink Floyd, The Doors, and many more. There are also live talks by some of the CU Grad Students including “Colorado Skies” and “The Great Space Debate.”
Opening on September 19, a new presentation called “Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity” will premiere and be showing for the next couple weeks. This presentation will delve into one of the most contradictory parts of space. CU’s Andrew Hamilton helped advise for the program and says, “The show marries science and art in a new way that compromises neither… (and) breaks new ground in visualizing accurately what Einstein’s equations predict and what really happens inside a black hole.” This show is sure to be both fascinating and beautiful, and Dr. Hamilton is available after the presentation to discuss any questions about his work and the presentation.
The Oredigger was able to view the show “Back to the Moon for Good.” Narrated by Tim Allen, this show focuses on the Google Lunar X Prize and the competition to get back to the moon. Google plans to award 30 million dollars to the first privately funded team to successfully land on the moon, travel 500 meters, and send back video, pictures, and data (or Mooncasts) to Earth. 30 private teams from 16 different countries are competing to win $30 million in prizes by the end of 2015. This project is a push to re-explore the vastly untouched moon, re-interest the public in lunar exploration and step away from government funded moon landings into a new era of private space travel and exploration. Not only was the show informative, but also the graphics were amazing and the experience of the IMAX planetarium was unreal.
There are also several interactive exhibits that are open in the lobby for free during business hours. Business hours are Monday to Friday from 8AM to 5PM. Fiske Planetarium is located at 2414 Regent Drive in Boulder, about 30 minutes away from Mines Campus. Tickets are $10 for the public and $7 for students, seniors, and children. Most shows are about one hour long. Schedules for shows can be found online at www.fiske.colorado.edu/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.