'Sphere' film premieres at Space Foundation; second 'Star Day' rescheduled to Feb. 8
The Jan. 30 event helped the Discovery Center tie in a kickoff of its own: a two-day “Star Days,” featuring repeated showings of “Water Falls,” a new SES-1 satellite model exhibit, a new interactive activity where a computer can be used to simulate moving a rover device on Mars, plus special Cool Science hands-on demonstrations and a Create-a-Telescope activitiy,
The second of the two Star Days had been set for Feb. 1, but because of bad weather has been rescheduled to Saturday, Feb. 8. The facility at 4425 Arrowswest Drive will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Open on a regular basis Tuesdays through Saturdays, the center also includes the Northrop Grumman Science Center and the El Pomar Space Gallery of space artifacts and interactive displays. Cost of admission is $9 for adults, with reduced prices for seniors, military, students and children.
The nine-minute “Water Falls” was developed by the Goddard Space Flight Center team within NASA to provide a cinematic overview of its continuing Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) international satellite mission. Two people involved in the film's making - research physical scientist Dr. Dalia Kirschbaum and producer/director Michael Starobin - attended the Discovery Center premiere. Kirschbaum talked about the GPM goals of better understanding water and energy cycles, improving forecasting of extreme weather events and developing more accurate precipitation measurement capabilities. She pointed out that currently, without full satellite involvement, precipitation measurements in some locations are sporadic or do not occur at all.
With Science on a Sphere still a relatively new technology, Starobin described some of the difficulties faced in filming. For example, he said, without the proper adaptations for the six-foot-diameter globe, a simple chair would become a distorted, almost unrecognizable object. Another consideration is that in a “sphere” movie, it's set in the middle, with the seating on all sides around it. So care has to be taken, as the electronically directed device appears to revolve, showing moving images accompanied by music and narration, to make the experience the same for everyone in the audience, Starobin said… even if they don't receive all the sight and sound stimuli at the exact same time.
The Space Foundation is a non-profit advocate for space exploration and technology, headquartered in Colorado Springs.
For more information, call 576-8000 or go to http://www.spacefoundation.org.
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