Around the World in Sixty Minutes

What’s the next best thing to visiting the Grand Canyon? It might be Digital Earth: Explore the World from Space, a unique program in the Gates Planetarium at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science that uses vivid panoramic images by photographer Vance Howard and members of the International League of Conservation Photographers to create an immersive experience. A giant step beyond your garden-variety travelogue, Digital Earth relies on state-of-the-art, 360-degree HD imagery designed to wrap around the planetarium dome. Along with Howard, DMNS geologist Bob Raynolds and space scientist Ka Chun Yu will employ these striking visuals to explore the canyon’s formation; the short film Crossing Worlds, a wonder of spherical photography from Greg Downing and Eric Hanson of xRez Studio, will also be shown. “It’s sort of like Google Earth on steroids,” Howard says of the hour-long presentation, which also offers a historical view of wild-river ecology and efforts to preserve nature’s work. “You fly around the planet and visit various sites. We then use that story as a springboard for looking at rivers at risk now in British Columbia and Patagonia.”

Lose yourself in Digital Earth at 7 p.m. tonight at the museum, 2001 Colorado Boulevard; admission is $10 (or $8 for museum members). For reservations and information, visit or call 303-322-7009.
Wed., Nov. 9, 7 p.m., 2011

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd