Future is Wild Debuts at TAMIU Planetarium

New Show Debuts
at TAMIU Planetarium

Take a glimpse at what the future might look like five million years from now with the debut of “The Future is Wild” at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center (LBVSC) Planetarium Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.

The show features a cast of strange and amazing creatures, ranging from tiny insects to eight-ton squids that have replaced human beings. It also explores how the climate might change with a massive new ice age and how the continents could move around creating a huge land mass. To make sure everything in the film is possible, the film is based on hypotheses from an international group of specialists in biology, climatology, and geology.

“We will be opening ‘The Future is Wild’ Labor Day weekend, with extra shows on Labor Day. This show is a production of Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel and involves projections into the future about the animals that will follow us on Earth. In six weeks we will likely open ‘Microcosm,’ a virtual trip through the human body,” explained Dr. John Winfrey, Planetarium director and assistant professor of math and physical sciences.

After Friday’s main feature, audiences can stick around to catch the Planetarium's Skyshow, weather permitting. Dubbed "Laredo Tonight," the show takes a look at planets and constellations visible that night.

Also available weekdays and during weekend is the downlink to NASA 24 hour programming on the Plasma TV above the lobby Planetarium door. All the latest developments in the space program and its findings happen there first.

General admission tickets cost $5 and tickets for TAMIU students, faculty and staff and children under 12 are $4. Only cash and checks can be accepted. Group rates are available for 50 or more people; advance reservations required.

“The Planetarium is not a movie theater in several ways. Food, gum and drinks are not allowed, as in all our TAMIU theaters, but in our case because of the sensitivity of the projectors. Secondly, the theater is very much darker that movie theaters, and moving around after a show has begun is dangerous in terms of a falling hazard. Shows start mostly five minutes after the scheduled time — we check who is still rolling into the parking lot, but no one is admitted later because of the potential for harm from falling as well as the lack of personnel to do this type of seating. This is the one event that one needs to be on time for, or hopefully, early to enjoy the peaceful interior ambiance before shows,” added Dr. Winfrey.

There have been more than 11,000 visitors to the Planetarium since it opened in April 2005. The Planetarium has also opened the University to scores of community members, including groups of school children, who enjoyed the Planetarium shows during end-of-year trips. Other visitors include more than 300 sisters from the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas during their conference in late June at TAMIU.

The TAMIU Planetarium has one of the few new generation digital projectors. Prior technology only allowed a view from the Earth; this projector allows viewing from any part of the known universe. Thus, one can travel to structures unseen, except to highly developed telescopes. The Digistar 3 projectors use powerful graphics hardware and software to generate immersive full-dome images on the interior surface of a dome, integrating all-dome video, real time 3D computer graphics, and a complete astronomy package.

For more information and show schedule, visit the Planetarium on the Web at http://tamiu.edu/coas/planetarium or call (956) 326.2444.

For information on group rates, please call Laura Diaz at (956) 326.2463 or e-mail planetarium@tamiu.edu.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu