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Moons: Worlds of Mystery at the Brisbane Planetarium

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by Damsel Martin (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer, blogger and animal wrangler living in Brisbane's western suburbs. I love to eat, drink, travel, explore ... and then write about my adventures.
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Heavenly bodies bring celestial delights to earthlings
moons planetarium mystery saturn geysers
Geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus shoot particles into space. Image courtesy Museum of Science, Boston.

Moons have long been considered mere supporting cast members within the solar system. But a spectacular yet accessible new show screening in the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium's Cosmic Skydome has finally rocketed these bit players of the universe onto centre stage.

Moons: Worlds of Mystery comes courtesy of Boston's Museum of Science and considers the hitherto-unappreciated might of moons, whose gravity and interactions govern phenomena such as tidal forces and planetary ring structure.

io museum science brisbane planetarium moons
The volcanically active surface of Jupiter's moon, Io. Image courtesy Museum of Science, Boston.

Narrated by Ed Helms, Moons: Worlds of Mystery explores the diversity of lunar landscapes, incorporating everything from volcanoes and geysers to ice-covered oceans and methane rain. This is no Earth-centric production either: attention turns to several of the more than one hundred known moons throughout the solar system, orbiting five of the other planets.

For example, Titan, which orbits Saturn, is the second largest moon in the solar system - larger even than the planet Mercury. It has a thick atmosphere and lakes and rivers of liquid methane and ethane which undergo something similar to the water cycle on Earth.

ganymede moon mars brisbane planetarium
Ganymede's ancient surface resembles that of our own Moon. Image courtesy Museum of Science, Boston.

The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium is conveniently located in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha. So why not make a day of it? You can take a guided walk through the gardens, enjoy a bite to eat at Botanical or browse the Mt Coot-tha Library which has an outstanding collection of books on botany, horticulture, astronomy, botanic illustration, conservation, floral art, herbal medicine and natural history.

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Why? This will turn your view of the universe on its head
When: Afternoon and evening shows, to 25 January 2015
Phone: 07 3403 2578
Where: Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mount Coot-tha
Cost: Adult $15; children (under 15 years) $9.20; concession $12.80
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