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14 July 2022

Life's cutting-edge planetarium to showcase James Webb images

The people of the North East will be able to fully immerse themselves in the stunning pictures just released from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope at Life’s planetarium.  Life is the only place in the region where people can experience the incredible first pictures, including the deepest view of the universe ever taken, in a large format setting.

Life's planetarium takes big-screen space travel to a new dimension. It uses the new Digistar 7 technology making it the world’s most advanced planetarium system, using state-of-the-art projectors to give ultra-rich, high-resolution visuals and provide an immersive experience. Life can now present films light-years beyond the reach of traditional planetaria.

The $10bn James Webb Telescope is the world’s largest and most powerful space telescope, the result of 20 years' work by scientists from NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. On Monday 11 July, U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled the deepest, sharpest infrared image of the Universe ever captured, the first of several to be revealed over the next few days. 

Life was one of the first venues to receive the images, which will be showcased in a specially-created new planetarium show, Falling with Style, which opens this week.

Falling with Style has been created by Life’s in-house producer for the centre’s new Lightyear programme, a range of space-themed activities inspired by the Disney/Pixar film which opened in cinemas last month.

In Falling with Style, audiences will take a flight through the glittering arial nightscapes of our home planet. En route, they’ll launch objects into orbit around the Earth, and stop off at the international space station for a taste of life in the cosmos.  They’ll be able to take a deep dive into the extreme limits of the universe and be fully immersed in the incredible new visuals from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb telescope. 

Callum Griffiths, the planetarium’s producer, said: “The new system completely envelopes the audience, essentially holding a mini universe inside of it that is fully mapped with the most up-to-date data. It displays an incredible level of realism and is the perfect platform to present the stunning new James Webb pictures.”

Linda Conlon, Chief Executive of Life said: “We’re proud to have the largest and most advanced planetarium in the North, and to be the first to showcase these incredible new images from NASA. The region has a growing reputation for innovation in space – it’s great that our visitors can now experience ‘next generation’ virtual space travel right here at Life.”

Life’s Lightyear programme will run throughout the summer with a range of activities in the science centre. 

Life is open daily 10:00am – 5:00pm (recommended last entry 3:00pm). Everything is included in the price of a science centre ticket. Some activities have age restrictions or recommendations.  Book online and save at least 5% on standard prices. 

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