Astronomy and Space Exploration

Black Holes: 10th Anniversary Edition

Once in their grasp, nothing can escape.

Black Holes: the 10th Anniversary Edition is a completely revisualized show, made in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and the 10th anniversary of the first Clark Planetarium production of Black Holes. The show tells the story of the science and mathematics that first predicted the existence of Black Holes one hundred years ago and goes on to show how our understanding of Black Holes has developed over the years.

They lurk in the universe like cosmic dragons, unseen voids with the energy of a million suns. They can devour entire stars, and once in their grasp, nothing, not even light, can escape. Few mysteries in the universe have the power and awe of Black Holes. Only now are we on the verge of understanding their true nature. What are they? How are they made? Is the Earth in danger of being pulled into one?
Designed for all audiences, this full-length production features 3D simulations of Black Holes and the strange physical and visual effects they can create. With the help of science advisors from around the country, audiences will be able to see and feel what it might be like to approach the supermassive Black Hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, or speculate on the existence of “worm holes,” theoretical portholes in space and time.


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Duration 35 min
Target audience General public, middle and high school level
Technology Fulldome video of 3D computer animated graphics
Orientation Unidirectional; suitable for concentric seating
Production/year Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, 2016
Languages English, ask for other languages

2017 FullDome Festival Show Review

An audience success in the new look

After ten years and on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the Theory of General Relativity, the Clark Planetarium has once again presented one of its most successful shows. Now in 4k resolution, with clearly improved graphics, an excellent soundtrack and a wealth of knowledge about the most mysterious objects in the universe. While losing nothing the show has visibly increased in quality and will fascinate many planetarium visitors. Consistently interesting and varied, in total, much food for thought for the interested layperson.

Black Holes is an in-house production from the Clark Planetarium. The visualizations are classes better than in the first version. Regarding the quality of the film, we do not need to shy away from a direct comparison with the quality coming out of professional production studios even if it cannot, understandably, outperform on all levels. The visual language is based on 3D and 2D animations, often alternating with didactic graphics and mixing the two. The changing in graphic styles does not always have the most ideal outcome, but is quite pragmatic. The subtlety of modeling and textures could have been improved upon. The visualization of the Black Holes themselves should also be well appreciated by experts, and even amaze the layperson. 

The music and sound effects are a delicacy for the ears, perfectly synchronized with what is presented to us visually. The voice of US actor John de Lancie as a reporter in the background is a spot on. His quiet and clear pronunciation is excellently guided by the topic, which can be truly described as deep. The soundtrack by Joe Stohel is simply too good to characterize as a background music. The last whistle goes to the sound effects which make the most beautiful scenes in the film all the more affective.

Definitely recommended, the show will find its audience. Because what you always wanted to know about Black Holes can be found here!

Volkmar Schorcht, Jena

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