What. A. Fantastic Show.
Do you like planetariums? Even if you don’t like planetariums this is a show you ought to check out. Expedition Reef is a new planetarium show at the Natural History Museum in Ann Arbor and it is a-ma-zing.
Expedition Reef is a 30-minute long film of sorts that takes viewers on a journey through the different coral reefs in our oceans, how they form, how they are dying etc. While the film is educational it is not boring in the least. The film is absolutely gorgeous: the realistic underwater animation shows these rainforests of the ocean to you as if you were a scuba diver. Seeing the ocean stretched out on a whole planetarium is breathtaking, to say the least. It is an immersive experience and the visuals are top-notch. It is described as an oceanic safari and it really is that diverse and fun.
Even the educational material about coral reefs is super well done. In fact, my favorite part of the film was when we are shown how reefs reproduce (they do it by expelling spores in the water which I know because I saw this awesome film). During the scene, spores fill the 180 degree screen and it is akin to watching thousands of lanterns being sent to the sky. So gorgeous! I wished this show was longer than just 30 minutes.
After this, we were given a 15 minute guided tour of our universe. A graduate student in astronomy showed us our planet’s location in the solar system, our solar system’s location in the galaxy, our galaxy’s location in the universe, and so on. The tour explained a lot of things like exoplanets, interstellar space, and more (I finally understood why Pluto was kicked out from the planet committee of our solar system). Even though we saw a lot in a short time, the presentation on the screen made it very easy to follow and also to conceptualize distances in space.
Going to see a planetarium show with a friend followed by a museum visit as you all point to different exhibits, take pictures of a raccoon eating peanut butter will be a wholesome, serotonin-filled way to spend the weekend. The planetarium is still offering tickets for shows that you can buy at the museum for just 8 dollars. Since it is so close to home (basically in the center of the city) there is no reason for you to not go explore what all our world-renowned museums have to offer.