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    Cernan Earth and Space Center

    Discover the Planets

    Grade Level: 3rd grade and up
    Length: 43 minutes

    Discover the Planets is an exciting survey of the planets and other major members of the solar system. With the conclusion of the Voyager spacecraft missions to the outer planets in the late 1980s, we now have close-up images of all the planets except for Pluto. Discover the Planets reveals the unique nature of each of these worlds through the latest spacecraft images, computer-simulated video clips, special effects and imaginative planetary panoramas. The program also describes how the sun and planets formed, the orbits of both the inner and outer planets, the origins of the planet names, what comets and asteroids are, how far the solar system may extend beyond Pluto and speculations about finding planets around other star systems.

    Discover the Planets is an excellent supplement to your classroom solar system unit. It can be used as an introduction to the unit, or a dazzling finale in which the words they have read about and seen in books come to life in our dome theater.

    After the prerecorded portion of the program has concluded, the show operator will use the star projector to show audiences the planets that are currently visible in the night sky. Viewers are then encouraged to look in the real sky on a clear night to find the planets that were identified in the planetarium sky. A brief question-and-answer period follows the live portion of the presentation.