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Living Worlds: Bringing Astrobiology to Life in a Planetarium

Presentation #345.08 in the session Public Outreach Resources and Programs — iPoster Session.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Living Worlds: Bringing Astrobiology to Life in a Planetarium

Living Worlds, the latest award-winning production from the California Academy of Sciences, explores how understanding life on Earth helps us search for life elsewhere. The show brings together a host of cutting-edge science: deeply informed representations of Earth and Mars at various stages of their history, an encounter with the Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor (EELS) in a crevasse on Enceladus, simulation-informed views of HR 8799b and HD 189733b, synthetic spectra of exoplanets, and much more. Along the way, the show also introduces the concept of spectra to audiences, scaffolding from a view of terrestrial ecosystems to the entire planet to the aforementioned synthetic spectra. And finally, the topics of the show provide a springboard to ruminate on the implications for discovering extraterrestrial intelligence and to consider the longevity of our species and how we can coexist with our planet.

This poster will outline the process by which the show was produced, with an emphasis on assembling a team of science advisors, leveraging data visualization in the production process, and audience testing of critical topics. Specific examples will offer insights into how science concepts and authentic science data where incorporated into a compelling storyline that was recognized as the #BestOfEarth Science and Education Film by an international jury, representing planetarium festivals in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Australia. Living Worlds will be distributed to planetariums globally, and associated educational videos and activities will be made free available via the Academy’s website.

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