North Texas Daily

UNT Sky Theater shows science-fiction debunking film

UNT Sky Theater shows science-fiction debunking film

UNT Sky Theater shows science-fiction debunking film
October 18
09:01 2013

Steven James / Intern Writer

UNT’s Sky Theater will begin showing the film “Bad Astronomy” at 2 and 8 p.m. on remaining Saturdays in October and admission is $3 for students.

Randall Peters, the manager of the planetarium located inside the UNT Environmental Science Building, said he believes the general public has misconceptions about astronomy, so viewing the film would be beneficial for everyone.

“’Bad Astronomy’ explains why things that people see in movies like explosions in space and shooting out laser beams cannot happen,” Peters said. “If you like science-fiction, then the film might be depressing for you because ‘Bad Astronomy’ shows why this stuff is bogus.”

Peters is a “Star Trek” fan, but he admitted that learning the true facts of astronomy are more important than believing in science-fiction.

“What people like cannot get in the way of scientific reality,” Peters said.

The film also addresses the difference in astronomy and astrology.

“Astronomy is a science that deals with the objects and matter and the physical universe,” said Gage Marshall, console operator at the Sky Theater. “Astrology is the belief that the positions of the stars and planets will somehow affect your life. Astrology isn’t considered to be a real science because, unlike astronomy, astrology has no real proof to back it up.”

Ron Dilulio, director of planetarium and astronomy laboratories, described some of the processes that go into deciding which programs get featured at the Sky Theater.

“We try to think about long-term objectives, such as how we go about picking our content and which things will work,” Dilulio said. “We try to figure out if we want to lease the content, purchase the content, or if we want to create the content ourselves. We think long and carefully about what we want to show next.”

Dilulio said if any student wants to present artwork, do computer animation or write some scripts for the Sky Theater, he or she is more than welcome to that.

Dilulio also expressed high hopes for the future of planetariums.

“Field trips and road trips today are expensive,” he said. “Right now, we can see almost any point in the universe that we want to see. What I am hoping for in the future is that when people go to a planetarium is that they can take virtual tours that involve doing incredible things like walking around on the moon or the Grand Canyon at a reasonable price.”

Dilulio said he hopes many people will not only come see “Bad Astronomy,” but the Sky Theater’s other presentations once it begins showing others next month.

Bad Astronomy opening credits. Feature photo by Larissa Mathews / Intern

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