To mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, my contribution was to produce a planetarium show about the missions.
I’ve been retired from active planetarium show production and science centre work for more than 5 years now. But it’s great to get back in the Dome now and then.
The opportunity came this summer with the hugely popular 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing by Apollo 11. Everyone was hosting events and parties.
To contribute to the local science centre’s event, TELUS Spark in Calgary kindly gave me the keys to the Evans and Sutherland Digistar planetarium system to produce a special lecture/show for the Dome about the Apollo landings.
It was part of Spark’s well-attended Moon Landing Party night July 20. A collage of iPhone images shows some of the other activities that evening.
It was a capacity crowd, and both my shows were “sold out” with full houses. Indeed, I’m presenting extra shows by popular demand in the coming week so those who couldn’t get tickets on July 20 can see the program.
For you to see the show, and to document it for my posterity, I shot time-lapses of me presenting the show, first in rehearsal with some staff present shot from the audience point of view, then in the first presentation from the stage (my) point of view.
The time-lapses compressed the hour-long show into two 1-minute clips. It really wasn’t that frantic in real life! Here’s the video, from my YouTube channel.
I was impressed and surprised at how popular the Apollo anniversary has been. For most today the Moon landings are old history, before their time. Yet, the Apollo missions continue to inspire and amaze.
It was a wonderful moment to be alive.
— Alan, July 24, 2019 / © 2019 Alan Dyer / AmazingSky.com
8 Replies to “Celebrating Apollo”
Hi Alan, it’s a great show, but unfortunately, I lived in Vancouver and can’t attend the planetarium show. Is it possible to have this presentation at Telus Science World in Vancouver this year? That would be awesome and we won’t miss it.
Hello — no, it is not possible to show it in Vancouver as it is not a movie but a planetarium show presented live. I don’t think the science centre in Vancouver has a planetarium and the MacMillan Space Centre in Vanier Park has a different projection system in their planetarium. Sorry.
Thanks so much for sharing! Your work is greatly appreciated.
…Alan, your “Time-lapse” compressed Presentation looked Stunning; I wish I could have been there… My Family and Friends enabled me to do really Fun “On The Moon Again” Presentation, here in Fruitvale, on the previous Friday and Saturday evenings.. Everyone that came was thrilled to see the Moon, Venus and Jupiter through my 80mm Refractor, 200mm Meade Newtonian and 15 X Celestron Binocs! Received many thanks from folks who’d never looked at “up close” Views… I can only imagine the Appreciation at your Shows… So many of us still have Memories of Apollo 11, and we’ve been able to enjoy re-living that “Impossible” Feat!!
Any plans to bring this show to Edmonton. I’m sure it would be hugely popular here as well!
Sorry, the two projection systems are not compatible so moving the show is not practical.
Hi Robin. TELUS Spark has a high-quality mobile planetarium which we purchased back in 2010 I think. Previous management decided to end its school program tours. I would like to see them re-activate it and have it run by well trained staff paid to do the job. That said, volunteers and amateurs might need to fill the demand from schools if the science centre can’t. My time is limited for training others, and doing interactive school shows was not my specialty. Sorry!
Alan – as I have already Tweeted, your show was awesome (in the original ‘awe-inspring’ sense of the word). Kudos to you, both for making it *and* now responding to the *huge* demand of people to still be able to see it after the AON night on Saturday.
Ok, full disclosure here. I am a recently retired (oil-industry) geophysicist – now looking to morph myself into a Science Educator (Tutor, Mentor etc). Dean White, of Roots2STEM has invited me to teach an Astronomy Course at North Point School for boys next year (starting this September). I have also been in touch with Allison Simpson at Spark about contributing ideas for future exhibits there. Dean has a portable Dome-tent that he wants to take around Calgary schools and show kids the stars, as you did so well on Saturday night. Is there any way I could learn from you about how to do this, what kids most respond to, how to ‘sell’ Science as ‘cool’ to schoolkids??
Also, FYI, I spend Friday PM’s every week with the daughters (aged 8 and 11) of two of my friends – the elder did a School Project on Black Holes recently, and *today* we are going to watch together Jerome Gauntlett’s lecture (for children!) On ‘Black Holes And the Fundamental Laws of Physics’. Let’s see how that goes!!! (Search ‘Royal Institution Christmas Lectures’ if you haven’t seen it – its excellent, methinks).
Thanks for reading all of this! Hope to hear from you soon.