Beyond the Sun – Planetarium
45 minutes – $5.25/student
Suitable for Kindergarten to Grade 4
Beyond the Sun is an animated planetarium show featuring the adventures of a young girl named Celeste. While Celeste is fighting off sleep in her room by reading an astronomy book, she receives an unexpected visit from Moon. Together, they will enjoy a journey through the Universe to discover planets in other solar systems.
These “exoplanets” come in many varieties: hot giants, ocean worlds, ice worlds, and super earths. Along the way we learn how astronomers can find these distant planets, using methods like watching for eclipses to measuring the colour shift as the parent star moves. Simple analogies are used throughout, to make the content accessible to younger viewers.
Rather than focusing on specific curriculum connections, Beyond the Sun uses a timely topic to introduce young viewers to the ongoing process of scientific discovery. Students see how astronomers find and study distant planets, and how basic scientific methods and topics (like light and shadow, or the Doppler effect of sound) allow us to solve complex problems (like discovering planets that are too far away to be seen even in the largest telescopes).
The importance of a planet’s conditions is related to the possibility of life, highlighting the elements a planet’s environment needs to be able to support life: liquid water, an atmosphere, and a stable temperature.
Extension: With the grounding provided by Beyond the Sun, students can join in one or many citizen science projects searching for exoplanets themselves! NASA provides several opportunities to use real images and data to look for undiscovered planets through their online portal. Maybe YOUR students will discover the next new planet!
View the show trailer here:
Beyond the Sun – Planetarium show trailer