Sneak preview of Academy’s new Planetarium show “Life: A Cosmic Story”

The California Academy of Sciences will debut their latest Planetarium show on November 6 called “Life: A Cosmic Story”. The 25 minute film is narrated by Jodie Foster, star of the 1997 film “Contact”.

“Life: A Cosmic Story” begins in a grove of towering redwoods, majestic emblems of Northern California. From there, the audience “shrinks” dramatically as it enters a single redwood leaf and then a redwood cell, learning that despite their unique appearance, redwoods are composed of the same basic molecules as all other organisms on Earth. After this opening statement of shared ancestry, the audience launches on a journey through time, witnessing key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. (More details at SFCitizen.)

In an interesting plot twist, the Academy consulted with Dr. Jill Tarter for the making of “Life: A Cosmic Story”, who is the Director of the Center for SETI Research in Mountain View. Turns out she was the real-life inspiration for Jodie Foster’s character in the film Contact. Small world, eh?

You can’t get advance tickets to “Life: A Cosmic Story”; you can only obtain Planetarium passes after you’ve entered the Academy on a given day. But they’ll be playing it 7-10 times every day through late 2011, so you’ve got a good chance at catching it.

At the last Morrison Planetarium show I went to, the dark room and cushy seats got the best of me. Apparently Whoopi Goldberg’s voice was not enough to keep me awake (!), so let’s hope I fare better with Jodie Foster’s narration. 😉

Sarah B.