Press Release

Andrew Ng (415) 379-5123
Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121


Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, the all-digital production explores the life cycles of stars
and marks the one-year anniversary of the new California Academy of Sciences

Journey to the Stars Space ShowSAN FRANCISCO (September 23, 2009) – Almost one year to the day since the new California Academy of Sciences opened in Golden Gate Park, a new space show called Journey to the Stars will open at Morrison Planetarium on September 26, 2009. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, the show will launch visitors through time and space to experience the dramatic lives and deaths of stars. Like the Morrison's inaugural show Fragile Planet, Journey to the Stars will be tailored to the all-digital planetarium's 75-foot-diameter screen and continue the tradition of facilitation by a live presenter.

Journey begins as the Sun sets over the Golden Gate Bridge, then travels 13 billion years into the past, when the first stars were born. As they fly through space and time, audiences will experience the brilliant supernova explosions that sent new kinds of matter coursing through space, seeding the Universe with the elements necessary for life as we know it. Passengers will also dive into the heart of our fiery Sun, glimpsing its eventual demise as it transforms into a massive red giant some five billion years in the future. By the end of the show, which depicts sunrise over downtown San Francisco, visitors will have witnessed the formation of stars, explored celestial mysteries, and discovered the deep-rooted connection between humanity and the stars.

The show will play 7-10 times a day, every day in Morrison Planetarium until the fall of 2010. In addition, the Academy's Benjamin Dean Astronomy Lectures in early 2010 will give audiences a chance to meet the scientists who worked with Journey's production team. Speakers will include Dr. Ben Oppenheimer, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and curator for the show (January); Dr. Tom Abel, professor at Stanford University who contributed data and visualizations (February); and Dr. Alan Title, solar physicist at Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (March). Check for lecture details.

Journey to the Stars was developed by the American Museum of Natural History, New York ( in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences as well as GOTO INC., Tokyo, Japan; Papalote Museo del Niño, Mexico City, Mexico; and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C. The show was created with the major support and partnership of NASA, Science Mission Directorate, Heliophysics Division.

Note: The Morrison's inaugural show Fragile Planet will end on September 25, 2009, but it will continue to play at the Academy's weekly NightLife events (ages 21+).