2016 Honorable Mention


All shows of the California Academy of Sciences satisfy high demands on scientific accuracy as well as visual and sound design. The photorealistic animation of nature, especially plant and animal life, is without equal. „Incoming!“ follows this concept with a highly topical subject, which has captured the attention of the public at large thanks to the latest successes of spaceflight. The exploration of asteroids and comets at close range makes us wonder how they came into being, and to search for any traces they may have left on Earth. Viewers of this show are gliding on a track that starts at the Barringer Meteorite Crater in the desert of the Colorado Plateau and leads, without cuts, right up to the boundary of the Solar System and back. The uninterrupted continuity of the visualization is a characteristic of the show productions of the California Academy; in „In Incoming!“, it has matured into a fundamental design principle. On a sound scientific basis, the planetarium visitors learn of the traces left by asteroid impacts on our planet in the course of billions of years, und will accompany the Dawn, Rosetta und New Horizon space probes to the smaller bodies of the Solar System, which can give us news about its origin. In a highlight of the art of animation, viewers watch a speeded-up course of how the orbits of the planets and small bodies vary over billions of years – a magnificent visual testimony to the changeability of the Solar System and our own ephemeral nature. Just as impressive is the animation of the Moon’s surface in the course of billions of years. Life on Earth is not only dependent on cosmic influences as those exerted by Sun and Moon, but has also been formed by space-borne disasters, a fact that “Incoming!“ teaches us in a vivid, memorable and up-to-date show that has been flawlessly produced, even though it has a somewhat orthodox touch and might have gained in brilliance with a modicum of wit and casualness.


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