“Kids today have technology in their blood.” Frank Florian, the director of Planetarium and Space Sciences at the TELUS World of Science – Edmonton told me at the unveiling of the new Zeidler Dome and SPACE Gallery. “We have to surpass what they get on an everyday basis.”
Without question, they are doing just that.
The new Zeidler Dome is, in a word, a gamechanger. At 10K resolution it’s the best projection system in the world, which puts the TELUS World of Science -Edmonton in a unique position to share everything from amped-up versions of those cool laser music shows you enjoyed as a kid, to cutting edge science distributed on a daily basis from the likes of NASA and other world-leaders.
The old Zeidler Theatre closed after Labour Day 2017. The room was taken down to the studs, repairs made and a completely new theatre built. Guests will sit back in cushy, reclining chairs to enjoy the immersive experience created from 12 projectors, 19 speakers and 30-thousand watts of sound. 10 K projection translates to 78 million pixels. (to put that in perspective, my iPhone 6 has about 12,000 pixels, hence why my pictures won’t even come close to doing this place justice!) The theatre was crafted so there is no bad seat in the house. You can even forgo the plush chairs for giant beanbag pillows and watch the shows from the floor of centre stage.
Parents my age will remember wild laser light shows set to set to rockin’ music. Those are back and better than ever. The planetarium will take you from the edge of our night sky, with shows like Aurora Borealis, to the far reaches of the solar system. This is truly a special space that must be experienced to be fully appreciated.
Opening in conjunction with the new Zeidler dome is the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery. (that stands for Stars, Planets, Astronauts, Comets, Etc.) This is a hands-on, interactive and fun area that both parents and kids (and grandparents, aunts, uncles, everyone!) will appreciate.
Command a lunar lander! Launch a flurry of rockets! See your effect on gravity with the projector screen! And of course, don’t miss the astronaut photo op! The piece de resistance is the Destination Moon theatre, a mini-gallery of its own that features a moon rock, among other unique pieces. Its show will run every 15 minutes, with elements displayed on a big screen, as well as a 60’s style floor TV and the amazing in-floor glass screen.
After checking out the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, I was on my way back to the Zeidler Dome when I ran into Annie Prudhomme-Genereux, the Vice President of Science, in the Imaginarium, an incredible space that will captivate as much as the Dome does! She showed me how to use my hands to create pulsars and make the pulsars collide with a black hole to create gravity waves.
The Imaginarium was a surprise even to the staff at TELUS World of Science – Edmonton. Prudhomme-Genereux says she and her TWOSE research team spotted one on reconnaissance tour of a science centre in New York, and commissioned a design company to create a space version of the one-of-a-kind interactive wall.
The new Zeidler Dome and SPACE Gallery will open to the public at 11 am on Friday, August 3, 2018. They’re a part of the huge, ongoing Aurora Porject, a 40-Million Dollar transformation at TWOSE. 2019 will bring another exciting opening as the new CuriousCity, the early childhood learning centre, opens. Ms. Prudhomme-Genereux told me about a number of its incredible features – I will save those for a future blog!
New Zeidler Dome and SPACE Gallery:
When: Opens Friday, August 3, 2018
Cost: S.P.A.C.E. Gallery and Zeidler Dome shows during regular operational hours are included with admission. Special performances and some evening shows, like Laser Light Shows, incur an additional charge.