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Space Film Show


Wed 26 Aug 2015, 7:00pm–8:15pm

Where: Space Place at Carter Observatory, 40 Salamanca Rd, Kelburn, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $15.00
  • Concession: $12.50
  • Child: $10.00
  • Additional fees may apply

* Please book via Carter Observatory *

A compilation of 10 short films exploring space, animation, fantasy, documentary, and television items, from 1902 - 2005.

From the beginnings of cinema the moon has been a subject of fascination to filmmakers. In 1902 George Méliès made "A Trip to the Moon," his most famous fantasy film. Méliès combined animation and special effects to tell the story of a group of astronomers who travel to the moon in a cannon-propelled capsule. They explore the moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return with a splashdown to Earth with a captive Selenite. Another short French film, "The Great Discovery" (1909), tells the story of a trick a boy plays on his father. He places a cat in front of his father’s telescope, his father looks through the telescope, and sees a cat on the moon. In great excitement he invites his colleagues to show them his big discovery!

On a more serious note, is a film made by George Eibey at the Carter Observatory in 1958 about the Danjon astrolabe machine. This invention could measure the time a star took to cross the Zenith. By the late 1950s the machine was being used in more than 30 major observatories. Eibey’s other film on the programme is "Soviet Sputnik" (1958), a animated depiction of the launching of the sputnik and its landing on the moon.

A magnificent documentary film of Russian astronaut Alexei Leonov on the world's first spacewalk during the Voskhod-2 mission in 1965 is a highlight of the programme. A Russian film production, dubbed into English, this is an extraordinary record of the flight and Alexei returning to Russia.

Another clip is from "Take Three Passions" (1972), produced by Pacific Films for the television series Survey. New Zealand astronomer, Peter Read talks to enthralled school groups about space and the Apollo 15 mission. Snippets of footage showing astronauts in training and a tape of the launch of Apollo from Cape Kennedy are included in the film.

Another film clip of interest is "Kupe: Voyaging by the Stars" (1993), which explores Polynesian navigation.

The last item is a television story from 2005, reporting that two amateur New Zealand astronomers have played a crucial role in finding a planet more than 1,000 times the mass of Earth.

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