WASHINGTON (Nov. 22, 2011)—This month National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV) launches “Wildest Weather in the Solar System,” a show produced for fulldome and digital planetarium screens. It takes audiences on a spectacular journey to witness beautiful, powerful and mysterious weather phenomena on our neighboring planets. The 25-minute show, available in both 2D and 3D, was created in partnership with Lockheed Martin and produced and distributed by NGCV. Evans & Sutherland (and its Spitz subsidiary), Global Immersion and Sky-Skan are distributing it to fulldome theaters worldwide.
“We are excited to take theater audiences on a unique voyage to our neighbors in the solar system,” said Lisa Truitt, president of NGCV. “‘Wildest Weather’ is a perfect combination of computer graphics, ever-developing technology and science, all of which allow us to tell a story like never before.”
Extreme weather on Earth is relatively mild compared to the other planets circling the Sun. In “Wildest Weather,” audiences will experience these weather extremes through jaw-dropping visuals and state-of-the-art CGI while traveling alongside a fictitious planetary spacecraft. Their journey begins at the sun, where the surface is nearly six times hotter than Earth’s and solar flares can release high-energy particles at a million miles an hour.
The show takes us to Mercury, where temperatures can vary as much as a thousand degrees between night and day, and then on to Venus, whose thick, dense atmosphere traps the sun’s heat, making it even hotter than Mercury, its neighbor closest to the sun. Moving past Earth, audiences will be whirled about by 5-mile-high dust devils on Mars; drop inside the 400-year-long raging storm on Jupiter; and flinch from giant electrical storms in Saturn’s “Storm Alley,” where lightning strikes are 10,000 times stronger than those on Earth. By the time audiences reach the final planet, beautiful blue-gas-giant Neptune, where winds reach twice the speed of sound, they will be happy they live on Earth. The show also explores weather on Titan — one of Saturn’s moons — and on dwarf planet Pluto.
To complement ‘Wildest Weather,’ National Geographic has created an array of educator resources to bring the production to life in classrooms for students in grades two through eight. An online game challenges users to build space probes that will withstand the extreme weather conditions on each planet. The educator resources, game and more can be found on the show’s website at www.wildestweathershow.com.
“Wildest Weather in the Solar System” will premiere at several planetariums and museum theaters in the United States and internationally in the first few months of its release. The first venues to exhibit it are:
-Carter Observatory (Wellington, New Zealand)
-Denver Museum of Nature & Science (Denver)
-Exploration Place (Wichita, Kan.)
-‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai’i (Hilo, Hawaii)
-Louisiana Art & Science Museum (Baton Rouge, La.)
-Mayborn Planetarium, Central Texas College (Killeen, Texas)
-Natural Science Center of (Greensboro, N.C.)
-The Children’s Museum (West Hartford, Conn.)
-The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia)
-The Swedish Museum of Natural History / Cosmonova (Stockholm, Sweden)
-UNC Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
National Geographic Cinema Ventures
NGCV is part of National Geographic Entertainment, a division of the National Geographic Society. Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, NGCV produces and distributes 2D and 3D productions for the special venue and theatrical screens worldwide.
National Geographic’s portfolio of nearly 25 films includes six National Geographic giant-screen films — “Flying Monsters 3D,” “Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure,” “Forces of Nature,” “Roar,” “Lewis and Clark” and the blockbuster “Mysteries of Egypt,” which, at $102 million, is one of the highest-grossing films in the industry. The National Geographic distribution portfolio also includes “Whales,” “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets,” “The Human Body,” “Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France” and Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.”