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City planetarium's newest show gives contemporary twist to classic 'Our Sun and its Family'

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Bengaluru, May 8 (PTI) The newest sky theatre show in Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium gives a contemporary twist to a show that was quite popular in the late 1980s.

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"Our Sun and its family" was written by C V Vishveshwara, India's visionary blackhole physicist and founder-director of Bengaluru planetarium in 1988. It is now being adapted in dome format, for a 360-degree viewing experience.

"It was an extremely popular show even in those days, now we have made it more contemporary by including the recent space missions of India," B R Guruprasad, director of Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium told PTI.

A special premiere show was organised at the planetarium on May 8 evening. The show, screened in both English and Kannada, is open to the public from May 9 onwards.

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"We need such accessible shows so that children’s interest in space science can be nurtured," said professor Tarun Souradeep, director of Raman Research Institute, who attended the premiere.

He also said the show should be taken to all planetariums in India and if possible, should be taken to the villages too.

"It can be done, we need specific infrastructure and software because projection sizes vary in different planetariums. But it can also be showcased in inflatable domes, for instance," added Professor Souradeep.

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The show with the use of breathtaking visuals, including illustrations and shlokas explains the importance accorded to the sun in both science and ancient cultures around the world, especially ancient Greece and India.

"It highlights the important features of the eight planets of our solar system, their satellites as well as briefly taking the viewers through asteroids and comets, supported by animations when required," said the director of the adapted version, Pramod Galgali.

According to him, since 2016, when the planetarium was upgraded with a dome screen, the team has been striving to bring interesting shows that aim at popularising science.

"Some of the extremely popular shows in the dome format include ‘Dawn of the Space Age,' 'Life Beyond Earth' and 'Cosmic Journey'. Bengaluru planetarium, thanks to our founder Vishveshwara, always strived to make original shows, too. 'Our Sun and its Family’ is one such," added Galgali.

The 40-minute show will be screened everyday except Mondays and second Tuesdays of the month. The English version is showcased between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm and the Kannada version between 2.30 pm and 3.30pm. PTI JR SS

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