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Supervolcanoes coming to Lourdes’ Appold Planetarium

Published: 03/06/2013

Imagine a volcanic eruption 1,000 times stronger than that of Mount St. Helens’ VEI 5 in 1980 or Mt. Pinatubo’s VEI 6 in 1991. A volcano whose molten lava and ash can spread more than 240 cubic miles, triggering long-lasting weather changes sufficient to threaten species with extinction. This spring, Lourdes’ Appold Planetarium show Supervolcanoes will take visitors back 74,000 years to the island of Sumatra, where a volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau.

Toba, as the Sumatra volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But the Earth has seen far larger volcanic eruptions. An eruption in what is now Siberia, occurred over 250 million years ago. Lasting more than a million years, it was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in the Earth's history.

Supervolcanoes is an immersive planetarium show that looks back at rare classes of volcanic eruptions that have marshaled the energy that lurks, like a sleeping dragon, beneath the surface of planet Earth. The program moves beyond Earth to explore the impact of giant volcanic eruptions found in our solar system as well. Audiences will fly to Neptune's frigid moon Triton, and onto Jupiter's moon Io, the ultimate volcanic world. Showing on the following Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.:

March 9

March 23

April 6

April 20

Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for children under 12 and for Lourdes students presenting their student ID. Shows at the Appold Planetarium are limited to 50 and often sell out. For more information or to purchase tickets contact Lori Witham, Appold Planetarium Interim Coordinator, at 419-517-8897 or email planetarium@lourdes.edu

Lourdes University’s Appold Planetarium is a proud member of the NASA Museum Alliance and has been designated an official NASA Space Place. Named “Best Place to See the Stars” by Ohio Magazine, the Appold Planetarium features SciDome, a fulldome video system powered by Starry Night – the  world’s most comprehensive astronomy software, allowing real-time 3D sky simulation, fulldome shows and multi-media presentations. For a list of current and upcoming shows, visit the Appold Planetarium online at www.lourdes.edu/planetarium.




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