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Monday, September 14, 2009

Forces of Nature at Carey IMAX® Dome Theater

"Forces of Nature" is playing in the Cosmosphere's Carey IMAX® Dome Theater. The movie, which brings the power of earthquakes, volcanoes and tornadoes to the giant screen, took ten years to film. It is showing every day at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., with additional showings at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Also showing in the Carey IMAX® Dome Theater is "Greece: Secrets of the Past."

"Forces of Nature" is narrated by Kevin Bacon, and captures the volatility of natural disasters on Earth, while showcasing three scientists who study them. Their hope is to understand the origins and behaviors of these events to improve our odds of surviving them.

Director George Casey said, "Mother Nature is the most temperamental screen diva a director can work with, and our team was at her mercy. Getting a tornado on film – let alone on 70 mm film – is nearly impossible. It's sort of the 'holy grail' of large-format filmmaking. In the end we got several twisters on camera, as well as spectacular eruptions of the volcano on Montserrat Island. Being in the right place at the right time was critical, and it is also why a project like this was more than ten years in the making. You simply can't turn to a storm and yell, 'And… action!' and get the shot you want."

Some of these natural phenomena are more common than we like to think, and more destructive than we realize. For example, there are nearly a half-million earthquakes each year, and only four states – Florida, Iowa, North Dakota and Wisconsin – had no detectable earthquakes between 1975 and 1995. Alaska is the most seismically active state overall. The largest quake in recorded history shook Chile in 1960 with a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale.

The most destructive tornado on record was in 1925. It went through three U.S. states, destroying four towns and taking 695 lives. The Hallam, Neb., tornado of May 22, 2004 peaked at a width of 2 ½ miles, making it the widest ever recorded. Despite better storm warnings, tornadoes still kill an average of 60 people a year in the United States.

Alaska was the site of the largest volcanic eruption in modern times. In June of 1912, at Novarupta, 3.6 cubic miles of magma exploded from the earth – 30 times the molten material that erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980.

"Forces of Nature" and "Greece: Secrets of the Past" are both showing each day at the Cosmosphere. Call 800-397-0330 for show times or check www.cosmo.org.

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing patrons' knowledge of space exploration. Educating people from around the globe, the Cosmosphere boasts the Hall of Space museum, one of the most significant collections of U.S. and Russian space artifacts in the world; the Justice Planetarium, a dome-shaped classroom where attendees learn about astronomy; Dr. Goddard's Lab, a live demonstration of early rocket technology; the Carey IMAX® Dome Theater, the 12th IMAX® theater built in the world; and summer astronaut training camps. For more information visit www.cosmo.org.


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