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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

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The voice of De Anza since 1967.

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Saturn+spins+into+view+onto+the+Fujitsu+Planetariums+360-degree+screen.
Ingrid Lu
Saturn spins into view onto the Fujitsu Planetarium’s 360-degree screen.

The lights dimmed, a hushed silence fell over the room, and stars began to scatter across the sky. As they moved closer, Saturn slowly spun into view, its rings taking up their familiar orbit.

On Saturday, Jan. 20 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College screened “Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens,” a 40-minute exploration of Saturn and its moons.

Produced by Clark Planetarium Productions, the show features immersive 3D animations and a voiceover, providing a brief history of Saturn’s formation and human exploration.

“Saturn” opened with revolving images and a short description of the European Enlightenment, which ushered in a then-unprecedented era of scientific discovery. Here, the narrator introduced Saturn as an enigmatic celestial body which scientific intellectuals saw and studied here from Earth.

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The camera then spun towards a large model of the planet, depicting its atmospheric storms, craters and rings in detail. This went hand-in-hand with descriptions of human attempts to reach and explore Saturn, such as initial fly-bys during the Space Age and the Cassini-Huygens research mission.

The film features a speculative model of the view from Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. (Ingrid Lu)

As the film progressed, the narrator went on to explain other aspects of the Saturnian system, including Titan, Saturn’s largest and most famous moon. The show ended with speculation on the future of human interactivity with Saturn, ruminating on its mysteries and whether we can solve them.

The film was projected onto a 360-degree dome, which brought the immersive quality of the show to new heights, the camera and Saturn orbiting in tandem. In one breathtaking scene, the film takes a closer look at Saturn’s rings as the 3-D model brings the viewer into the swirling circles of ice and rock.

The seats also allowed for audience members to lean back and view the projection from overhead, simulating the experience of stargazing on a far grander scale than could be done on Earth.

The outlines of well-known constellations mapped across the dome. (Ingrid Lu)

After the show, staff brought out a star map and pointed out where Saturn can be seen in relation to other well-known constellations.

Given the opportunity, “Saturn” is a remarkable show worth seeing, especially for children eight and up who have an interest in astronomy. The planetarium also features a variety of other space-related films and laser music shows, offering an immersive and entertaining experience for any visitor.

Name of the show: Saturn: Jewel of the Heavens
Showtime: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: $12 per person
Rating: 4.5/5

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About the Contributor
Ingrid Lu, A&E Editor
I'm a first-year student with a particular interest in analytical writing and communication. I'm looking forward to learning a lot this quarter!

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