Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Morrison Planetarium Fulfilled My Life's Dream

Last Sunday we checked out the new Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The place was amazing and well worth its $24 ticket that included entry to the largest all digital planetarium in the world, the Morrison Planetarium. They opened up the design of the new museum to have large spaces not being so dreary and cramped. It even has an indoor stream and see through water walk ways.
The Morrison Planetarium is the largest all-digital dome in the world with a 75-foot diameter projection screen tilted at a 30 degree angle. Thanks to immersive video technology, the dome seems to disappear when imagery is projected onto it, creating an experience more like flying than watching a movie.
First, as someone whose been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium twice, I can say the museum's Steinhart Aquarium aquatic section is nearly similar. It was obvious the planners took cues from Monterey in building their own. They had a tremendous sea horse tank that made my jaw drop, and many jelly fish tanks too.
Steinhart Aquarium is home to 38,000 live animals from around the world, representing more than 900 separate species. Come nose-to-beak with an African penguin, watch sharks and stingrays cruise beneath your feet, check out the set of teeth on a piranha, and learn about the critical, life-sustaining role that water plays on Earth.
There was so much to see, we missed the tropical forest bird section preferring to check out the world class Morrison Planetarium. We weren't sorry because it was a once in a lifetime experience! We were among the first crowds to see the planetarium's latest new show the Journey to the Stars.
In the new Morrison’s second show, travel through time and space to experience the dramatic lives and deaths of stars. Witness brilliant supernova explosions, dive into the heart of the fiery Sun, and watch it transform into a red giant five billion years in the future. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, Journey will help you discover the deep-rooted connection between humanity and the stars.
They took digital images from the Hubble Telescope coupled with their digitally generated universe to make it seem we were flying through space and galaxies like on Star Trek. One really did have the feeling of being suspended in space, viewing the earth, sun, planets, and far away galaxies while traveling through space and time in order to see the birth of stars. It was awesome and breathtaking.

After the planetarium show, it made us feel like we had experienced something the entire human race would like to see at least once in their lifetimes along with all preceding ancestors. It was that spectacular! It's something I recommend everyone see as a once in a lifetime event. My life is fulfilled after that experience; it fulfilled my dreams in every way. I've always wanted to go into space and visit galaxies and witness the birth of stars.

For $24 we got to see an incredible museum full of human history milestones like a moon rock, asteroid we could touch and amazing fish in natural environments, rain forests, and traveled through time and space. The cost was a great value and I'm definitely going back because I couldn't possibly see everything in a matter of four hours.

Once again I have another reason to be proud to be living in San Francisco that has transformed itself to a world class city in 15 years since I moved here from Los Angeles.