Celebrating Apollo


Presenting Apollo Show

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

 

Snow Moon over the Science Centre


Here’s the Full Moon of February rising over the place I work, the science centre in Calgary, called TELUS Spark.

I took this Tuesday evening, February 7, on the night of what is sometimes called the Snow Moon. I knew the Full Moon would rise in the northeast and worked out, with the help of a useful iPad app, just where to stand on the hill above the science centre to get the Moon rising over the science centre. Though it did take a last minute move of a hundred feet to place the Moon over the front entrance!

The building glows from the light of banks of LEDs that can be programmed to slowly change colour. The parking lot lights are all nicely shielded, as any astronomically friendly place should be, to prevent light spilling upward. The odd structure to the left contains the new digital dome theatre, which opens this spring. The dome screen is being installed this month. The dome will feature a Digistar 4 projection system with two pairs of very high-end Sony 4K video projectors, for interactive star shows and full-dome movies. Maybe even laser shows!

Should be fun!

— Alan, February 8, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer