In the California Academy of Sciences’ latest original planetarium show, Incoming!, audiences will discover how asteroids and comets have collided with our planet throughout history, changing the course of life on Earth and shaping the world we know today. From the comfort of a planetarium seat, viewers will embark on a dynamic journey on the trail of asteroids and comets, get an up-close look at the advanced technologies that allow scientists to detect asteroids before they reach Earth, and visualise historic space events billions of years in the making – all within an immersive, all-digital dome that brings the captivating story of our cosmic origins to life like never before.
Narrated by George Takei, Incoming! explores the past, present, and future of our Solar System and the landmark discoveries scientist have made by sending spacecraft to visit tiny worlds. The show opens with a lizard’s-eye view of the Arizona desert. While this may seem like an unlikely starting point for a planetarium show, sweeping views quickly reveal the kilometre-wide Barringer Crater. This scar on Earth’s surface formed almost 50,000 years ago as the result of an asteroid vaporising upon impact with our planet, devastating the local environment and changing our planetary landscape. While geologic activity erases almost all evidence of these kinds of imparts, Barringer joins nearly 200 impact craters around the world that have been identified by scientists. Audiences will learn how one impact site in particular provides valuable clues about the demise of the dinosaurs – and how a far-traveling visitor from space transformed life on Earth.
Throughout the show, cutting-edge visualisations also allow viewers to tag along with robot explorers, zooming by rocky asteroids and icy comets – and even the dwarf planet Pluto. While astronauts have only travelled as far as our nearest neighbour in space, the Moon, spacecraft continue to venture to mysterious worlds beyond to make landmark observations and collect valuable data about this final frontier.
Check out our website for tickets to Incoming!