I am a freelance writer and mother of two. Follow my reviews to discover more amazing activities to enjoy with (and without) your chidren.
Published April 19th 2012
With an awesome virtual guide to the galaxy, who needs 3D?
Mawson Lakes is a recently developed village that has been designed for the urban family to enjoy the surrounding water ways and easy commute to the CBD. It is also home to one of University of South Australia's (UniSA) campuses, which hides the very discreet 'Building P'. Here, childhood memories and learning experiences begin .
During school holidays and on alternate Saturdays, UniSA's planetarium offers a one hour show about our Solar System. With the aid of a 1960's Zeiss light projector, which illuminates and charts around 5000 stars within the intimate 8 metre diameter dome, this experience really is one of the greatest shows on - and beyond - Earth.
The reclining seats and full dome projection mean you can see the show from wherever you are seated, and the demonstrator guides explorers through an awesome galactic experience by giving an informative yet easy-to-follow explanation of the planetary grid. He may have been assisted by ageing equipment, but the results were truly breathtaking.
The demonstrator gave an engaging presentation of southern hemisphere constellations and explained how people have used the stars to find their way for centuries. By rotating the projection, he visually illustrated how the stars change position at different times of the night and throughout the year and, as he bought the dome into complete darkness, we got to see the magnificient yet elusive Milky Way.
The second half of the session was filled by a movie entitled, Astronaut, which was narrated by Star Wars actor Ewan McGregor. My six year old son squealed with delight when he heard Obi Wan Kenobi explain the tortuous processes that astronauts must endure before and during their six month tour in space aboard the International Space Station.
We got to see how astronauts in space must exercise for two and a half hours a day to prevent muscle wastage and loss of bone density when they return to Earth and saw an animated demonstration about other perils of life in space.
When the demonstrator asked us at the beginning of the session who would like to be an astronaut, I joined the masses by raising my hand. After learning of the physical effects of being launched and sustained in the 'vomit comet' for half a year, I swiftly retracted my arm!
I travelled 40 kilometres to find Adelaide's best kept secret, and it was worth it.