Adler Planetarium Offers 'Deep Space Adventure'

Chicago Sun Times: When the aliens approach planet Earth, what will they hear first?

In the Adler Planetarium’s imagining, it’s Chuck Berry and Beethoven.

“Deep Space Adventure,” the planetarium’s original show in its newly reconfigured theater, features an alien called “The Searcher,” voiced by actor Billy Crudup, who travels the universe looking for the planet he once called home.

“You and I are united in curiosity and our urge to search,” says the unseen creature, who sounds like a kinder HAL9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

The Deep Space experience debuts Friday in what Adler officials say is the world’s most technologically advanced theater.

The show, which lasts about 30 minutes, was two and a half years in the making, said Paul Knappenberger Jr., Adler’s president. Nearly every person on staff had some role in its creation.

While “The Searcher” is pure fiction — from the minds of Adler officials and Nick Sagan, son of Carl Sagan — the Milky Way he travels through and the supernovae, exploding star through a black hole and “galactic smash-up” he experiences are accurate renditions of the universe based on data from supercomputers at NASA and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Also accurate is the rendering of Chicago, which “The Searcher” visits.

When the Adler opened in 1930 as the first planetarium in the Western hemisphere, the theater was designed to give city folk a scientifically based taste of the cosmos, Knappenberger said.

“It could re-create a dark night sky so people could see constellations and planets and the moon as if they were out in the countryside,” he said.

The new show and digital theater also re-create the sky, though from a dramatically different perspective — space.

“When you’re in space, you’re in space,” he said. “The blackness of space is projected really well.”


Post a Comment