Planetarium Show: Water — A Cosmic Adventure

About the Show

Embark on the exciting undertaking of searching for the symbol of life in the Universe! Water: A Cosmic Adventure is a 30-minute planetarium show exploring how water formed, its relationship with the cosmos, and how we search for it on distant exoplanets.

The Association des Planétariums de Langue Française (APLF) in collaboration with Hamburg Planetarium and ESO invite you to join astrophysicist Eva Luna as she explores the turbulent origins of hydrogen and oxygen in the Universe and discover how they combined to form one of the most essential molecules on Earth, H2O. The backbone of life as we know it.

Realistic 3D animations and breathtaking footage will take you on a fascinating journey to the driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert in Chile. Released during ESO’s 50th anniversary year, the show highlights ESO’s greatest achievements while presenting some of the most spectacular images of the La Silla Observatory, the Very Large Telescope at Paranal and never before seen 3D models of the biggest eye on the sky — the planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The show particularly focuses on the search by ESO’s ground-breaking telescopes for planets that contain water. And where there is water, there can be life.

For the first time ever in a planetarium show, fantastic 3D animations follow the different steps of stellar evolution, finally leading to the ejection of atoms and the formation of molecules. Viewers are immersed in deep space and its fantastic timescales, through the turbulent primordial Universe and into the depths of superb nebular star nurseries, all the while following the mechanisms that create the nucleus of oxygen.

Planetarium viewers will also learn that it is very difficult to discover a trace of life on an exoplanet. A 39-metre telescope — the E-ELT, must be used and a tough selection process undergone. Astronomers have to submit their observation proposals six months before the observing run on the telescope, after gathering complex data showing that their goal can be reached. If the project is accepted, the observation is performed inside a control room without any access to the telescope, which is located 20 kilometres away. The observations lead to a much-anticipated spectrum appearing on the screen of a computer, which then has to be analysed and compared with models and theory.

The scenario and storyboard adhere to the technical standards, and embrace the cultural backgrounds, of planetariums all over the world. Produced by The Master Film Society, the show is available in English, French and German. The great voices of well-known actors work beautifully with wonderful music composed by Julien Jaouen. As an added bonus, the music is license-free! Water — A Cosmic Adventure is also a show that is perfectly adapted to 2013, the UN International Year of Water Cooperation.

Soundtrack and Visuals

The soundtrack has been recorded in wav-files in 5.1 surround sound and the innovative 3D-360° images were captured using the state-of-the-art RED-EPIC© 5K camera.

Interested planetariums can request one of the two formats available:

  • Digital Full Dome Video Film (FDV) in 4k x 4k resolution dome master, compatible with all digital full-dome systems (SkySkan, Evans & Sutherland, RSAcosmos, Zeiss, SkyPoint etc.). A low resolution 1.2 K version is available for small and mobile digital full-dome systems;
  • Opto-mechanical (OM) analogue kit with 56 high-resolution (5 to 100 MB) all-sky images, WMV or Quicktime 16:9 files, user book and script. A high resolution “flat” video is also available.

Optional Add-Ons and Upgrades

The full show will also be made available in Stereoscopic 3D (price will be shared by interested theatres).

A set of add-on modules (10 minutes each), allowing post-show live-interaction with the audience, to strengthen and update some scientific issues presented in the main show will be available after September 2012 (only in fulldome format).

The following modules are in planning:

  • The E-ELT
  • Water on Earth
  • Water on Mars
  • Drake Equation and Exoplanets