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North Platte Public Schools

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Planetarium

With the help of the REACH grant monies, the district funded the purchase of a portable planetarium. It supplements NPPSD's science curriculum by demonstrating principles of Earth and Space Science via the projector's software program. In addition, we have the ability to show museum-quality fulldome films on a wide range of curricular subjects.

In order to purchase a fulldome film license, the district third grade classes held a fundraiser last November 2014 by selling freeze-dried astronaut ice cream. It was a huge success and we sold over 1,600 packets.

Now Showing!

Click on the movie posters for more information, including movie trailers and teacher resources, where available. Some shows are available to view in full online (of course, the full-dome experience is better!)

Animalopolis

The show will take you on a voyage into the magical world of animals. A bit fanciful, a bit "Seussian" perhaps, a place of good natured humor, beauty and just plain fun for kids and their parents.

Whether going nose to nose with hippos as they graze upon nature's massive salad bar, or eye to eye with dancing bears, sea lions turning somersaults, an otter that prays, we are reminded that nature provides us with humor and wonder, everywhere.

Animalopolis takes a lighthearted and imaginary look at a variety of animals including cheetahs that race like a Ferrari, bears that run their own fishing school, an operatic lion, scary crabs that hold a town hostage and even attempt to cuddle with children, and much more.

Runtime: 33 minutes

Back to the Moon for Good

The show opens with the first era of space exploration in the late 1960s and early 1970s. We see what that era of landers and orbiters taught us about our nearest neighbor including the discovery of the Moon's origin, composition, structure and the accessibility of raw materials on its surface.

The Google Lunar XPRIZE is designed to democratize space and create new opportunities for eventual human and robotic presence on the Moon. We see the engineering and innovation steps taken by the internationally distributed teams competing to land a spacecraft on the Moon and vie for additional prizes. We highlight the human spirit of competition and collaboration as teams take on this audacious challenge. Who will win the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE? The audience is taken through a successful launch, landing and lunar surface travel. The show ends with a stunning glimpse of a plausible scenario for our future on the Moon.

Runtime: 24 minutes

Cosmic Castaways

There are places where the night sky has no constellations.

No Orion, no Big Dipper, nothing but a few lonely, far away stars and a few faint, ghostly patches of light. Most stars lie within the crowded boundaries of galaxies, travelling with their brothers and sisters in a vast galactic family. But some find themselves on their own, deep within voids between the galaxies. These are the cosmic castaways.

This show is an original production of the Ward Beecher Planetarium and is based on the research of YSU's resident astrophysicists Dr. John Feldmeier and Dr. Patrick Durrell.

Runtime: 23 minutes

Cosmic Journey: A Solar System Adventure

Volcanoes tower 80,000 feet above a barren surface. Monstrous hurricanes rage for 400 years. And multicolored rings sit suspended in air.

In Cosmic Journey: A Solar System Adventure, you'll travel through our solar system faster than the speed of light, taking in the wonders of the planets and their moons.

Runtime: 23 minutes

Dark: The Movie

DARK is a fulldome movie that explains and explores the nature of dark matter, the missing 80% of the mass of the Universe.

The search for dark matter is the most pressing astrophysical problem of our time - the solution to which will help us understand why the Universe is as it is, where it came from, and how it has evolved over billions of years - the unimaginable depths of deep time, of which a human life is but a flickering instant. But in that instant, we can grasp its immensity and, through science, we can attempt to understand it.

The movie is presented by Dr Alan Duffy, a brilliant young astronomer from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at the University of Western Australia - who creates simulations of dark matter evolution inside supercomputers. Alan introduces us to the idea of dark matter, why astronomers think it exists, and explains why radio astronomy is so well-suited to its discovery.

Runtime: 23 minutes

Force 5

Extreme weather takes center stage in this full dome animated show revealing images not seen by naked eye due to their life-threatening nature.

Using real movies and NASA based images, FORCE FIVE offers the audience a vantage that would never be safe in the real world, creating a sense of what it would look and feel like if you were standing in the middle of a deadly storm.

"Experience a storm without getting wet!"

Runtime: 22 minutes

IBEX: Search for the Edge of the Solar System

Join scientists who are investigating the boundary between our Solar System and the rest of our galaxy in IBEX: SEARCH FOR THE EDGE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

Designed for visitors with an appreciation for the challenges of space science and a desire to learn more about science research, the show follows the creation of NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Audiences will get an in-depth look at the mission and how IBEX is collecting high-speed atoms to create a map of our Solar System's boundary.

Narrated by two inquisitive teenagers, audiences will hear from the scientists and engineers that developed the IBEX mission and created the spacecraft, and get the latest updates on the mission's discoveries.

Runtime: 28 minutes

Flight to the Moon: LRO and LCROSS

Flight to the Moon is an original digital dome production of the Clark Planetarium, with support and collaboration from NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center. The narrated pre-rendered program is about NASA's two new unmanned spacecraft, the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) and LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) launched together in an Atlas 5 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on June 18, 2009. LRO will map the moon in unprecedented detail while LCROSS will impact a permanently shaded crater near the lunar south pole in search of water.

Runtime: 9 minutes

Losing the Dark

Starry skies are a vanishing treasure because light pollution is washing away our view of the cosmos. It not only threatens astronomy, it disrupts wildlife, and affects human health. The yellow glows over cities and towns - seen so clearly from space - are testament to the billions spent in wasted energy from lighting up the sky.

Runtime: 6 minutes

Solar Quest

"Solar Quest" is a full dome planetarium short feature that demonstrates how the Sun and Earth are interconnected and that we are "Living with a Star".

High quality animations display solar phenomena such as fusion and light energy as well as solar surface features and events. Granules, solar flares and coronal mass ejections are highlighted.

The show discusses the impacts of space weather and how the Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field protects all life on Earth.

"Solar Quest" features the role of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and how scientists are using it as a way to help identify and predict sever space weather. Actual videos of the Sun from SDO are used where the audience can actually see the large amount of energy being released.

Runtime: 12 minutes

This Is Our Sky

This is Our Sky! is a general astronomy show that targets 3rd grade, with elements of interest spanning Preschool to 6th Grade. Join Luna and her friends for an exploration of the sky, phases of the Moon, seasons, constellations, and planets.

This is Our Sky! supports the K-4 science curriculum, with direct support for 11 science standards, including two common core standards. This fulldome digital show runs 20 minutes and is appropriate for grade levels Pre-K-4 and general audiences.

This is Our Sky! opens with an introduction to the sky and things we see in it. The show touches briefly on weather, covers the apparent motion of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and goes into detail on seasons and the Earth's tilt, seasonal constellations, and the phases of the Moon. The show wraps-up with an overview of the Solar System, featuring close-up shots and brief information for each of the 8 planets.

Runtime: 20 minutes

Two Small Pieces of Glass

While attending a local star party, two teenage students learn how the telescope has helped us understand our place in space and how telescopes continue to expand our understanding of the Universe. Their conversation with a local female astronomer enlightens them on the history of the telescope and the discoveries these wonderful tools have made. The students see how telescopes work and how the largest observatories in the world use these instruments to explore the mysteries of the universe.

While looking through the astronomer's telescope, the students, along with the planetarium audience, explore the Galilean Moons, Saturn's rings, and spiral structure of galaxies. During their conversation with the astronomer, they also learn about the discoveries of Galileo, Huygens, Newton, Hubble and many others.

Runtime: 23 minutes

Full-dome videos are also available for streaming from the following:
Full Dome On Demand