Cool Off In July With ‘Ice Worlds’

June 23, 2008

Premiering July 11 and featuring the latest research from scientists studying the Earth’s polar regions, “Ice Worlds,” a new full-dome film in the Burke Baker Planetarium, tours icy landscapes throughout the solar system to explore the critical relationship between ice and life.

From the icy moons of the outer planets to the recent Phoenix landing on Mars, Ice Worlds immerses audiences in each ice-shaped landscape to show how ice behaves on very different worlds.

“The interplay of life and ice on Earth – from microbes to humans – raises interesting questions about the ice worlds of our solar system,” said Carolyn Sumners, vice president of astronomy and physics for the Houston Museum of Natural Science. “Can they help us understand Earth’s changing polar habitats and protect their pristine beauty? Will they have microscopic life? Will they be suitable for humans to explore? Scientists are studying these questions now.”

Ice Worlds features new research conducted as part of the fourth International Polar Year, a large scientific program coordinating more than 200 projects, conducted by thousands of scientists from more than 60 nations, focusing on the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

Tickets for Ice Worlds in the Burke Baker Planetarium are $6 for adults; $5 for children (3 – 11), seniors (62+), and college students with a valid ID; $4 for Museum members; $2.50 for school groups; and $4.50 for groups of 20 or more.

At 6:30 p.m. July 21, museum-goers can participate in a live discussion with researchers engaged in climate research near the top of the world, through a live link at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The team is investigating glacial lakes, which form on the ice sheet in the spring and summer. As the lakes grow larger, they force cracks in the ice sheet that allow the water to flow down to the bedrock – and destabilize the entire glacier. Discover how the latest research is impacting their theories.

Following the question and answer session, participants will view a screening of Ice Worlds, which features the results of their research. Tickets are $17.

For tickets, or more information, visit www.hmns.org or call 713-639-4629.

Ice Worlds is funded by the National Science Foundation through a collaboration of the University of New Hampshire, Evans & Sutherland, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It is being distributed to planetariums around the world to show a global audience how the Earth is changing and how these changes could affect the planet’s future.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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