For those too strapped to travel to Daytona Beach for spring break, there’s always France or Mars — at the campus Planetarium, of course.
The calendar for the UAA Planetarium and Visualization Theater is packed with adventures all month long. Students can retreat from the dirty, slushy Alaska spring weather for only $5 a show.
“AudioDome: The Champagne Pudding Sessions,” at 8 p.m. March 22, will take visitors through stunning visuals of the region of Champaigne, France. DJ Hans and DJ Guenter of the Wackelpudding Crew, known for their weekly show on KRUA FM 88.1, will accompany the lifelike scenery with a revolving music mix.
“Our initial idea was to create a short vacation outside of winter. It’s been just ‘blah,’ so people need to get out somehow,” Lawrence “DJ Hans” Hoeschel said.
UAA student Yvonne Pasqual said though she would generally never consider checking out the Planetarium, the name of the venue piques her curiosity enough to check it out.
Hoeschel described the music as a “more lounge-y, chill-out set with indie and house music,” in contrast to the upbeat electro music Wackelpudding plays for KRUA.
Hoeschel said the crew is excited because this will be their first AudioDome session at the Planetrium. Both DJs in Wackelpudding are from Germany and will add the European flair fitting for the “trip to Champaigne, France.”
For those who believe there are forms of life in space, Michelle Wooten, Term Instructor of Physical Sciences, will host “The Search for Life: Are We Alone?” at 6:30 p.m. March 22. It is narrated by Harrison Ford and was created by NASA and the American Museum of Natural History.
The show is described as having “breathtaking visualizations” that will “transform your view of the universe to reveal countless worlds that may harbor life.”
With a dome-shaped screen with over 12 million pixels and sound effects through a Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, it’s hard not to imagine the show as anything less than “breathtaking.”
During “Scales of the Universe” at 6:30 p.m. March 29, visitors will “fly beyond the galaxy, the Milky Way and to the edge of the observable Universe.”
UAA astronomer Travis Rector, who recently stumbled upon the birth of stars out near the Big Dipper, will also host the event and will have a lecture where curious visitors can ask questions.
Rector will also host “Dawn of the Space Age,” the same night at 8 p.m. Visitors will see the historic reconstruction of man’s first steps into space and learn about the people who “took part in these death-defying endeavors.”
Rector advised those interested in any of the above events to purchase tickets in advance online, because the shows are popular and regularly sell out.
All shows are open to the public. For more information on shows and prices or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/planetarium/.