MV Blog


MIFF returns to the Melbourne Planetarium

by Warik
Publish date
16 July 2012
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Warik is a digital production designer at the Planetarium at Scienceworks.

The Melbourne International Film Festival returns again to the Melbourne Planetarium to show the latest works in Fulldome Cinema. Two Fulldome Showcases will be presented on Saturday 4 August.

Coral Coral: Rekindling Venus promotional photograph.
Source: Lynette Walworth

7.00pm screening:
• Visualiszt
A series of short immersive works inspired by the music of 19th century Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso Frank Liszt

• Space Opera
Journey through the solar system accompanied by English composer Gustav Holst's acclaimed composition 'The Planets: Opera 32'.

9.00pm screening:
Life: A Cosmic Story
Narrated by Academy Award winner Jodie Foster, the show launches the audience on a journey through time, witnessing key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life.

Coral: Rekindling Venus
Journey into a mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life and uncover a complex community living in the oceans most threatened by climate change. Coral: Rekindling Venus is the new film from acclaimed artist Lynette Wallworth, who also created the Welcome video installation at the Immigration Museum's Identity exhibition.

For further information, or to purchase tickets, head over to the MIFF website.


Fulldome Showcase at the Melbourne Planetarium

Melbourne Planetarium

Tycho in South Africa

by Tanya
Publish date
26 October 2011
Comments (1)

The 6th Science Centre World Congress was held last month in Cape Town, South Africa and the Planetarium's adventurous dog, Tycho, was there to take in all the action.

Special screenings of Tycho to the Moon were held at the Iziko Planetarium throughout the week of the Congress. And it seems that Tycho won the kids' hearts there just as he does here at home.

Tycho to the Moon in Iziko Planetarium Cape Town South Africa The audience enjoys Tycho to the Moon in the Iziko Planetarium, Cape Town, South Africa
Source: Sky-Skan

Tycho to the Moon is our longest running show at the Planetarium. It was the first show we produced for the Planetarium's move to Scienceworks. Hundreds of thousands of children have seen the show and we love hearing young Tycho fans lining up for yet another visit to see their favourite dog.

Of course being around for over 12 years, Tycho has had a few necessary modifications. He began life as a brown mutt, adorable but scruffy. The Tycho we're used to seeing today is a bit sleeker and shinier but he never lost his mischievous ways.

Tycho mission badges All good astronauts need a mission badge and here's Tycho's collection, from his original trip to the present day.
Image: Melbourne Planetarium
Source: Museum Victoria

Three years ago, when the show was converted to the Planetarium's fulldome format, we also took the opportunity to produce a Northern Hemisphere version of Tycho to the Moon. But of course some minor tweaks were needed first.

Since they can't see the Southern Cross over there, Tycho's favourite constellation became the Big Dipper, a prominent and well-known feature of the northern sky. And when the rocket leaves Earth, rather than blasting off from a backyard in Melbourne, we fly above the San Francisco area.

Now you may never have thought about it, but when you change hemispheres the Moon switches from being in the north to the south, as well as turning upside down! So while we see the phases of the Moon growing from left to right, in the northern hemisphere it's the exact opposite. I must admit it made for some tricky moments trying to work with something that's so familiar when you see it in Melbourne but so foreign when viewed from San Francisco.

But wherever he is Tycho still loves to watch for the Full Moon to rise. And when he sees it ... well if you don't know, you'll just have to come visit the Planetarium to find out!

publicity shot for Tycho on the Moon publicity shot for Tycho on the Moon
Image: Melbourne Planetarium
Source: Museum Victoria


Session times for Tycho to the Moon

Planetarium captures the world

by Tanya
Publish date
27 July 2011
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We’re proud of our planetarium shows and know how important it is to deliver high quality productions that speak directly to our local audiences.

But did you know that it's not just Melburnians that get to enjoy our planetarium shows?

World Distribution Map Melbourne Planetarium shows screening around the world. The eight shows are distinguished by colour.
Image: Warik Lawrance
Source: Museum Victoria

Since 2007, we have been licensing our shows to play in planetariums around the world. From countries as different as India, South Korea and Turkey, to cities across Europe and the USA, people are enjoying our unique brand of planetarium shows. We’ve even had one show Black Holes: Journey into the Unknown translated into Spanish, Swedish, Finnish and Russian.

Have you seen any Melbourne Planetarium shows on your travels?

Project Seasons

by Tanya
Publish date
14 February 2011
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As our visitors relax under the Planetarium’s stars, what many of them don’t know is that just next door it’s a hub of activity. We’re busy working on a brand new fulldome planetarium show that will be launched later this year.

The question we’re exploring? What would happen if you accidentally messed up the seasons? That's what our characters, Anni and Max, have just done  – they’ve made it snow in the middle of summer!

storyboard from seasons show Our storyboard of snow inside Anni's bedroom in summer!
Source: Museum Victoria

We've taken our script and mapped it out in storyboard form. The storyboard has a strange shape to capture the Planetarium's unique fulldome format.

You see we don’t use a normal rectangular screen but a 180-degree dome above our heads. It's the perfect way for showing a starry night sky and it also puts you in the centre of the action.

But behind the scenes, it means we must work with circular images – where the bottom is the front, the top is the back, (left is left, right is right) and the centre is what you see directly overhead.

Anna's Room - Spinning Out A scene from Spinning Out, a show we made on the seasons many years ago.
Source: Museum Victoria

Can you imagine how the room above would look if it was projected onto a dome?

This new show we are working on will be our 14th production since the Melbourne Planetarium opened here at Scienceworks in 1999. It’s also our 4th production made in fulldome (the official name for this circular format).

Follow us on the blog as we give you some sneak-peaks of the show and its characters, Anni and Max, taking shape!

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.