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New 3-D astronomy shows light up the dark

ASU Marston Exploration Theater
March 14, 2014

Explore planets in and beyond our solar system, fly around galaxies in the local universe and experience the scale of all time and all space from the comfort of your seat – in ASU’s Marston Exploration Theater in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV.

The Marston Exploration Theater has recently unveiled its newest 3-D astronomy shows: “Undiscovered Worlds” and “To the Edge of the Universe and Everything in Between.” These shows aren’t your "typical" planetarium shows focusing on constellations or the motion of stars. Visitors are invited to sit back and enjoy 3-D immersive entertainment that offers a sensory experience unlike any other. With computer animation and Definiti SkySkan Planetarium technology utilizing 4K projection systems, the Marston Exploration Theater allows visitors to explore the universe in ways you wouldn’t have thought possible.

“To the Edge of the Universe and Everything in Between is a 60-minute narrated journey from Earth to the cosmic background radiation. Stops along the way include current, topical space science news explorations.

“The planetarium experience is normally an Earth-bound perspective focusing on a representation of your night sky. At the Marston Theater, we engage the universe on its own terms; we go to where science takes us. We have the opportunity to explore the latest research, the newest discoveries, and view firsthand the limits and the potential of our technological reach in space,” says Ric Alling, theater director.

“People come up after almost every presentation expressing that the live flying technology of the Marston Theater completely changes their perspective of the size and structure of the universe,” says Alling, adding: “I highly recommend this show for everyone in the ASU community as a means of developing fundamental knowledge of the scale of space and time.”

Until very recently, the only planets known to us were the familiar worlds in orbit around our sun. In the last two decades, we have discovered hundreds of new planets, called exoplanets, orbiting other stars. In two more decades they will number in the thousands. The second show, “Undiscovered Worlds,” a 70-minute presentation that includes a movie produced by Science Center Boston, is accompanied by a 3-D survey of our exoplanet neighborhood, including the very latest in research leading to an understanding of worlds outside our own solar system.

“We tell the tale surrounding this explosion of discovery, and examine what will be required to determine which, if any, of these new exoplanets can support life,” says Alling.

The shows can be seen at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday evenings, and at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Saturdays. General admission tickets are $7.50 per person (student admission is $5.50), and can be purchased at the door or online at:

In addition to the new public shows, the Marston Exploration Theater also offers programs for K-12 students. Special rates are available for any group visiting regularly scheduled Marston Theater programs. Please contact

Housed within the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV, theater visitors can also enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Gallery of Scientific Exploration, located adjacent to the theater, before and after shows.