Yuri’s Night with the Vancouver Skeptics at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

MacMillan Space Centre by Torben Hansen
Photo credit: Torben Hansen on Flickr

Every April 12th, people from around the world gather to celebrate the first spaceflight. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of April 12, 1961, the day of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned spaceflight, and April 12, 1981, the inaugural launch of NASA’s Space Shuttle.

The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre has kindly offered a special discount rate on April 12 to all local science enthusiasts who identify themselves to the cashier as “Yuri’s Night with the Vancouver Skeptics” guests.

There are two different evening shows in the recently-upgraded Planetarium Star Theatre, and you can choose to watch both shows or just one. Our group’s discount price for two shows is $14.00 per person, or $10.00 each to see just one show.

The 7:30pm show is “Life: A Cosmic Story“:

How did life on Earth begin? This tantalizing question forms the basis of the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre’s newest planetarium star theatre show. Begin your journey by shrinking down to enter a single redwood leaf, and discover that all life on Earth shares a common ancestry. Then, travel through time to witness key events since the Big Bang that set the stage for life. Along the way, you will see two scenarios for the dawn of life on early Earth, and discover how our planet has changed since those microscopic beginnings. Narrated by Jodie Foster.

The 9pm show is “Dark: Understanding Dark Matter“:

Dr. Alan Duffy is an Astronomer, and is looking for something that is very hard to find. Imagine trying to search for something that you can’t see. You don’t know what it looks like, what it’s made of, or where it is. But you do know that nearly 80% of the mass of the universe is made of it. At least we’ve been able to name it. Learn how the mystery of dark matter has changed our understanding of the Universe.

Neither of these two shows’ contents are specifically related to Yuri’s Night, but we’ve invited UBC Astronomy professor Jaymie Matthews to speak to our group at the 9pm show, and he will be able to tell us a bit about space exploration, including his own involvement with Canada’s MOST space telescope and other space missions. Helia Sharif, an Autonomous Space Robotics Engineer who completed the International Space University’s Space Studies Program, will also speak to our group about Yuri’s Night and space exploration.

In addition, the Space Centre’s exhibit areas about space exploration and much more will be available for our group to explore before and between the shows in the Star Theatre, from 7pm to 7:30pm and again from 8:30pm to 9pm.

Finally, weather permitting, after the 9pm show we can walk over to the Space Centre’s GMS Observatory and take a look through their ½-metre Cassegrain telescope to explore the skies around Vancouver.

Please join us, and spread the word to all your space- and science-enthusiast friends. Remember to tell the cashier you are there for “Yuri’s Night with the Vancouver Skeptics” to receive our group’s discount rates.

Vancouver Skeptics is a casual social group for local science enthusiasts who value reason, critical thinking, and skepticism. You can learn more about the group and our upcoming events at our website: http://vancouverskeptics.org/

You can also join the Vancouver Skeptics in the Pub group on Facebook to receive invitations to our monthly events, and RSVP on this event’s page on Facebook.

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