FEATURE FULL-DOME FILMS



Below is a list of the main films shown at our planetarium. We rotate our programming monthly and also weekly, so that our local community may have a variety of films, to enjoy, the same as our visitors, all lovers of the fascinating world of Astronomy. Sometimes we add a short film, if the main full-dome feature is accompanied by a lecture by one of our staff or a guest speaker. All our activities include a brief note on what the Rapanui skies presently have to offer each month. Check which movie is currently being shown when you make your reservation. All our films are top-quality, screened in full-dome format and in Dolby 5.1 surround sound.

For 12 years and older (contact us to learn about our shows for children)

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1. Wayfinders: Waves, Wind, and Stars

Thanks to a unique agreement with the J. Watumull Planetarium of the Bishop Museum of Hawai’i, the Rapanui Planetarium is pleased to immerse you in this interactive-learning experience. Sail on the deck of the voyaging canoe Hōkūle'a and explore traditional Polynesian navigation. Learn how to read the stars and interpret the winds and waves to navigate without modern instruments. 

 

"Wayfinders" starts by telling the story of the spread of people out of Southeast Asia throughout the Pacific and how they discovered thousands of islands over several millenia, learning to travel through the largest ocean in the world, using only signs found in nature, including the stars. Eventually these Pacific explorers reached the islands of Hawai’i, part of a vast contact network that in the past 600 years all-but-faded from Polynesian cultural memory… Fast forward to the 1970’s, when the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance was building after nearly 200 years of colonial power. The Polynesian Voyaging Society was founded, and with the knowledge imparted by Micronesian master navigator Mau Paialug and a replica of a double-hulled voyaging canoe named Hōkūle'a, Piaulug and Hawaiian Nainoa Thompson became the first to navigate the 4,500 km between Hawai'i to Tahiti without using modern instruments, thus ushering in a whole new generation of wayfinders who would go on to guide traditional canoes throughout the Pacific and eventually, all across the globe.

 

In this live-action film we learn the basic techniques and skills involed in traditional wayfinding. By the end of the film we have embarked on a virtual trip between Hawai'i and Tahiti, being able to determine when we have returned to Hawai’i… using only the stars as our guide.

2. From Earth To The Universe

The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as the very existence of people. A desire to understand the intricacies and nature of the universe may well be humanity’s oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp the place we occupy in the vast cosmos.

"From Earth to the Universe" is  a journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today’s grandest telescopes. This stunning, 30-minute voyage through space and time conveys, through sparkling sights and sounds, the universe as revealed to us by science. Viewers can revel in the splendour of the worlds in our Solar System as well as experience a close flyby around our scorching Sun.

 

"From Earth to the Universe" takes us to the colourful birthplaces (and burial grounds) of stars, and still further out beyond the Milky Way to the unimaginable immensity of a myriad galaxies. Along the way, we will learn about the history of astronomy, the invention of the telescope, and today’s giant telescopes that allow us to probe ever deeper into the Universe.

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3. Two Small Pieces of Glass: 
The Amazing Telescope

"Two Small Pieces of Glass" s follows two students as they interact with an astronomer at a local star party. 

Over the course of the evening, and in a lively exchange of information, the two students learn about the history of the telescope, from the modifications made by Galileo, through toy spyglasses for children, to finally, the launch of the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy.

Aiming to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages, the show explores  the wonder and thirst for knowledge that led to the greatest discoveries in astronomy throughout the past 400 years, told through the eyes of the founders of classical astronomy to those who are changing our perception of the world and the universe as we know it ... with the help of two small pieces of glass.

4. Phantom of the Universe:
The Hunt for Dark Matter

From the journey of protons racing through the largest particle collider on Earth, to up-close views of the Big Bang and emergent cosmos, "Phantom of the Universe" is a new full-dome planetarium show produced by the European Southern Observatory, showcasing an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the origins of our universe to the anticipated discovery of dark matter at the Large Hadron Collider. 

The show reveals the first hints of the existence of this mysterious form of matter through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term "dark matter." It describes the astral choreography witnessed by astronomer Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy, before plummeting deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine in Europe.

From there, the film travels through space and time to the Large Hadron Collider  at CERN, seeing particles before and after colliding in astonishing bursts of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to locate the possible compounds that harbors this mysterious matter in our Universe.  Immerse yourself in the search for dark matter.

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5. Out There: The Quest For Extraterrestrial Worlds

This new full-dome film produced by the Planetarium of the Swiss Museum of Transport in cooperation with NCCR PlanetS and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) takes us on a journey through the universe in search of extraterrestrial life.


We are surrounded by an infinite number of galaxies, each with their stars and planets, billions upon billions of possibilities for extraterrestrial life on these many distant worlds. We are undoubtedly not alone, but contact is a nearly impossible task as there are many factors to consider for such an event to happen. Nevertheless, scientists keep relentlessly searching for even the slightest hint of life beyond our planet.


This documentary explains what are the known requirements for a celestial body to host life and what it would be like if we found it. Thus we visit various worlds that seem to be fantastic, but likely exist in some distant corner of the universe.

6. The Hot and Energetic Universe

In a straightforward and simple manner, "The Hot and Energetic Universe" showcases the achievements of modern astronomy through immersive visualizations and real images, from the most advanced ground and orbital observatories, in order to investigate the basic principles of electromagnetic radiation and natural phenomena related to High Energy Astrophysics.

In this captivating visual production we probe galaxy clusters, which are the most massive objects in the universe, as well as the hot gas that accumulates around supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies.

High-energy radiation provides important information about our own galaxy, neutron stars, supernova remnants, and stars like our Sun, which emit copious amounts of high-energy radiation.

 

High-energy astrophysics plays a key role in understanding the universe. These radiations reveal the processes of our universe. The bottom line? We live in an extremely hot and violent infinite expanse of space, which is nothing short of  astonishing in the manifestations of both.

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7. Borders

No matter where on Earth they settled, our human ancestors expanded their territories every time they discovered a new place, thus securing more food, building better houses, and creating neighborhoods, cities and countries...

Almost all of human history has transpired on the surface of our planet, however, no matter how hard we try to create artificial boundaries, a panoramic flyby over Earth shows us an unequivocally  connected system in which political boundaries do not exist.

"Borders" takes us to the farthest region known to man: the last scatter surface where the cosmic background radiation originates, which triggers our imagination towards the possible existence of multiverses.

We only have one certainty: our knowledge has borders, but our delusional concern to erase them, our search for answers, is infinite. When you think you have arrived, it will be time to leave ...

8. Mexica Archaeoastronomy:
Between Space and Time

"The heavens with its chorus of stars tell the story of 4 suns. In the first sun, the jaguars devoured humanity ..."

 

Through vibrant colors, shapes, and sounds, "Mexica Archaeoastronomy: Between Space and Time" illustrates the important role that astronomical observation played in the evolution of the pre-Hispanic cultures of central Mexico.

 

This full-dome planetarium show takes the viewer on a fascinating journey through time, to the heyday of the Mexica from their very origins, showing how the Mexica applied the inherited calendrical and astronomical knowledge of their predecessors in the construction and distribution of the capital of their empire: the impressive and ancient city of Tenochtitlán. Surrounding by the waters of the Texcoco lake, and built between canals, its spacious palaces and gardens fell under the ever-present gaze of huge pyramidal temples oriented to the Moon and the Sun.

 

This engaging production guides the viewer through the richness and depth of the ancient Mexica, a fascinating culture that lives on in the heart of the Mexican people.

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Our apologies, while we try to recover this vessel that went out of orbit. 

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