Planetarium Premiere: Mysteries Of The Unseen World

A butterfly, up close and personal. Courtesy/PEEC

An aphid, up close and personal. Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC News:

A new film adventure takes audiences on an extraordinary journey into unseen worlds and hidden dimensions beyond normal vision to uncover the mysteries of things too fast, too slow, too small or simply invisible.

The Los Alamos Nature Center will premiere Mysteries Of The Unseen World at 7 p.m., Feb. 19, This full-dome, original production by National Geographic Entertainment and Days End Pictures also will play at 2 p.m. in the Los Alamos Nature Center the last two weekends in February.

Mysteries Of The Unseen World uses innovative high-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology,to transport audiences to an enthralling secret world of nature, events, and breathtaking phenomena not visible to the naked eye. If it is normally too fast, too slow, too small, or outside the visible spectrum, this film will show the audience what we were missing.

Is it too fast? We see only a fraction of the millions of wavelengths in the vast electromagnetic spectrum—the rainbow of light waves called visible light. The film shows audiences what it would be like if we had X-ray vision, or infrared vision like a mosquito, how a bee’s eyes see through ultraviolet light, what Gamma rays, microwaves and radio waves show us, and more.

Is it too slow? Time-lapse images capture mundane events that happen too slowly for humans to perceive. The film shows plants creeping toward the sun and astonishingly complex “slime mold” searching for food. On a grander scale, time-lapse allows audiences our planet in motion—from the vast and relentless sweep of nature to the restless movement of humanity.

Is it too fast? High-speed cameras do the opposite of time-lapse, revealing secrets from the super-fast world of nature. The film shows slow motion sequences of events that happen too quickly for human perception: a rattlesnake strike; drum cymbals reverberating; a Eurasian Eagle Owl, the world’s largest, flexing its wings; a basilisk or Jesus lizard running on the surface of water; popcorn popping; lightning rising upwards from the ground as well as striking from the sky.

Is it too small? The film also peers into the world of wonders too small for the human eye to see – from the minute structures on a butterfly’s wing and the tiny organisms that inhabit the human body all the way down to nano-scale structures. See how electron microscopes create images that magnifies things by as much as a million times–revealing a world that is both bizarre and beautiful. Guess which unusual image is a fruit fly’s eye, the skin of a shark, a flea on a cat, a tomato stem, an eggshell, and more!

Tickets may be purchased by phone or at the nature center at $6 for adults and $4 for children. This movie is not recommended for children under 4 years old. The breathtaking movie starts promptly at 7 p.m. and seating is limited. Arrive at least 10 minutes prior. For more information on this and other National Geographic movies, visit http://movies.nationalgeographic.com.

For more information about this and other Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) programs, visit http://www.peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 505.662.0460.

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.

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