30 December 2015



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30th Anniversary CONCERT album — Geodesium, Serrie and Hayes!

Celestial Rhythms: NYC Live '85

And we close out this year with a look back, to a long time ago in a planetarium far far away...

In May 1985, three of the planetarium world's star synthesists came together for the first time to perform their works live under the dome of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. At the time, Mark C. Petersen (a.k.a. Geodesium), Jonn Serrie, and Barry Hayes were primarily studio musicians, creating soundtracks for planetarium shows. They had not played as an ensemble before, so it was a special event for all involved. The theater was sold out for two performances and this historic album release captures the music and the magic from their first-ever concert — as the Celestial Rhythms trio.

Relive an incredible evening, from a time when space music (and the compact disc) was new!

Order your keepsake album today!

15 October 2015



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FULLDOMEOnDemand.com

We've put FULLDOME OnDemand on its own domain, with its own news, FAQs, and of course, your favorite shows for streaming.

We hope you'll bookmark it for your Favorites list!

14 October 2015


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Two new shows added to FULLDOME OnDemand

From Adam Majorosi, two shows produced for the European Space Agency:

Journey To A Billion Suns, featuring the GAIA mission

and

Touching the Edge of the Universe, featuring the Herschel and Planck missions.

We'll be adding more shows soon... stay tuned!

17 September 2015


Losing the Dark

Losing the Dark now available in Czech

That makes 18 languages so far, for the free-to-download show about light pollution we created for the International Dark-Sky Association.

You can download this latest translation, in fulldome and flat-screen versions!

Losing the Dark (in Japanese) featured at DomeFesta in Hitachi

We're pleased to share the news that Losing the Dark is featured at DomeFesta, Japan's premiere fulldome festival. Held at the Koriyama City Science Center this month, the show is part of a session on light pollution. CEO Carolyn Collins Petersen, who wrote and co-produced the show, joins the festivities via a Skype panel discussion about the show, along with NOAO's Dr. Connie Walker, chair of the IDA's Education Committee. Their talk touches on the issues of dark sky preservation, and how people can use the show in their domes and classrooms to teach the public about light pollution problems and solutions.

1 September 2015



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Introducing FULLDOME OnDemand!

There's a new, affordable way for dome theater operators with limited budgets to access all our great fulldome content.

If you've ever rented a movie from Netflix or Amazon Instant Video, you're familiar with the concept of on-demand video. FULLDOME OnDemand is the same idea, just for domes.

Together with our producer partners, we're initially offering 40+ shows for Web streaming. If you've got a spherical mirror system or a single "1K" fisheye-lens projector, our FULLDOME OnDemand service is particularly suited for you. With our $30/three days price for anytime playback, now you can afford to offer almost every show in our catalog!

Looking to try out some new and different children's shows? How about specialty art and music shows? Want to run a "Dome Club" night — or even your own fulldome festival? Bring in your administrators or test audiences before you buy the long-term license? Now you can do all this, at a price you can probably afford right out of petty cash!

Make FULLDOME OnDemand your go-to source for quick access to the world's finest fulldome features.

Read our latest blog post about this new rental service.

20 July 2015


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Welcome, Sky-Skan!

To Space & Back now available

Loch Ness Productions is pleased to announce the addition of the international award-winning To Space & Back fulldome show to our catalog of fine presentations. Produced by our friends at Sky-Skan, in association with The Franklin Institute (Philadelphia), this show takes you to orbit and back to find out what space exploration has done for all of us.

Space exploration has a major effect on our lives — helping us discover a universe of breathtaking scale and beauty, and influencing the way we live.

To Space & Back takes audiences on an incredible journey from the far reaches of our known universe to our own planet. It is an extraordinary story of human ingenuity and incredible engineering, describing how the technology that transports us through space is paving the way for the devices and apps we use every day.

Book your round trip now!

Looking for additional shows? Browse our extensive catalog and check out the show previews. Give us a call or drop us an email if you have questions about any of the shows we offer!

19 July 2015


Losing the Dark

Losing the Dark now available in Brazilian Portuguese

That makes 17 languages so far, for the free-to-download show about light pollution we created for the International Dark-Sky Association.

You can download this latest translation, in fulldome and flat-screen versions!

23 June 2015


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Welcome, Museum of Science, Boston!

3 new shows added to our distribution catalog

Ever wondered about the engineering expertise behind spacecraft such as New Horizons and the James Webb Space Telescope? So did the creative staffers of the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science, Boston. They set out to share with their audiences the amazing story of technological feats that allow us to send probes to space, in their latest show From Dream to Discovery: Inside NASA. With this new 30-minute show, you can take your audiences inside NASA, to experience engineering at its most amazing. It's a great way to introduce your audiences to the "right stuff" it takes to explore space.

We're also pleased to offer two other shows from Boston. Moons: Worlds of Mystery explores some of the smallest and most intriguing worlds of our solar system. From our own Moon to the strange oceans of Titan, this show gives an inside look at the many different kinds of worlds circling other planets (and dwarf planets and asteroids).

Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond our Sun takes audiences on a journey of discovery and exploration to the worlds orbiting other stars. Humans have long imagined exotic and intriguing worlds around other stars, and now, with the advent of the Kepler mission and the many ground-based observatories searching for exoplanets, science fiction is science fact.

We hope you'll consider these shows (and all our other offerings) when it comes time to order new content for your theater! Give us a call or drop us an email if you have questions about any of the shows we offer!

7 June 2015


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Now available!

Bella Gaia - Beautiful Earth

We're extremely pleased to announce the addition of Kenji Williams's magnificent fulldome show Bella Gaia to our growing distribution catalog. Many planetarians have seen and appreciated his performances at the Chicago IPS meeting in 2008, and in other domes around the world. Now, you can capture that same spirit of exploration of the universe through art and music on your own dome!

Bella Gaia is an unprecedented audiovisual experience that combines satellite imagery and science visualizations of Earth, time-lapse nature photography, and cultural heritage scenes with stirring musical performances.

From ancient Egyptian tombs, Indian rituals, cherry blossoms, and city scenes in Tokyo and New York, this beautiful fulldome show explores the relationship between human civilization and our ecosystem through time. It illuminates humanity's impact on nature in a way that taps audiences' emotional intelligence.

NASA has recognized the show's ability to engage and inspire a wide demographic, and recently awarded Bella Gaia a significant grant for an education platform for K-12 students across the country. The show won the Best Soundtrack award at last year's IPS/Macao International Fulldome Festival.

Take YOUR audiences on this inspiring journey across the face of our planet so that they, too, can enjoy the same awesome views and feelings that astronauts enjoy each time they live and work in space. It may well be the most beautiful, moving, and educational experiences you can offer in your dome.

Surf on over to the Bella Gaia page for more information, previews and prices.

See our blog for an interview with the producer!

3 June 2015


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BONUS! Specials and Shorts - new addition

Aurora Storm

We're pleased to be chosen as the distributor for a new short fulldome feature about the northern lights: Aurora Storm. With dazzling time-lapse footage, it's a scientific and cultural exploration of the hauntingly beautiful aurora borealis.

This 11-minute-long NASA-funded fulldome show was produced by the Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Aurora Storm explores the causes of the aurorae and how humans who live beneath their shimmering light are inspired by what they see. Quotes from the written journals of past Arctic explorers and indigenous people share stories of how they regarded the aurorae. The show's two narrators are Athabascan Alaska natives.

Loch Ness Productions has been authorized to prepare and provide Aurora Storm as downloadable, ready-to-play movies to fulldome theaters worldwide. For all theaters, there is no license fee; we're charging only a nominal price for the preparation, storage, and formatting of the show files.

Here's a unique opportunity to share an Aurora Storm experience with your audiences!

Check out our BONUS! Specials and Shorts section for this and more outstanding fulldome films.

See our blog for an interview with the producer!

27 May 2015


Cosmic Origins Spectrograph poster

BONUS! Specials and Shorts - new addition

Cosmic Origins Spectrograph

We're pleased to partner with our friends and colleagues at Fiske Planetarium to bring bring you their show Cosmic Origins Spectrograph. It chronicles the science being done by the University of Colorado-led instrument onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. Since its installation in 2009, COS has brought incredible new insights into the history of the universe. This 28-minute fulldome program covers the basics of spectroscopy at a high level, and showcases some of the instrument's discoveries.

Loch Ness Productions has been authorized to provide encoding and preparation services to bring Cosmic Origins Spectrograph to theaters without the time or resources to make movies for their systems. For all theaters, there is no license fee; the price we charge covers the encoding and formatting of movie files, and includes the media (data DVD, USB key) to store them.

We look forward to helping you get Cosmic Origins Spectrograph in your theater!

Check out our BONUS! Specials and Shorts section for more outstanding fulldome features.

20 May 2015


SpacePark360: Infinity poster

It's ready already!

SpacePark360: Infinity now shipping

For at least the past three years now, we've only been talking, hinting, and teasing about the sequel to SpacePark360: Geodesium Edition, the far-out fulldome project we've worked on with the animation wizards at Dome3D. While it's been finished since January, we haven't given it a formal christening yet, so now's the time. We (and Dome3D) thank all of you who've been patiently waiting, and especially those who've pre-ordered!

The world's fastest fulldome show is now faster, freakier, and even more fun! SpacePark360: Infinity cranks everything up several notches, with nine more exquisite thrill rides set on more exotic locations in the solar system — like Europa, the Saturnian rings, an asteroid interior, and even up-close and personal to the Sun! Geodesium Music From Infinity

SpacePark360: Infinity will screen at several fulldome film festivals this year, including the 9th Fulldome Festival in Jena, Germany, and the first Fiske Fulldome Film Festival in Boulder, Colorado.

Can you survive all nine rides? Prepare for even more exhilaration!

And the project allowed us to create another rockin' Geodesium album, Music From Infinity, with nine new sonic blasts!

Check out our blog for interviews with the creators!

23 April 2015


Losing the Dark

Losing the Dark now available in Kannada

That makes sixteen languages so far, for the free-to-download show about light pollution we created for the International Dark-Sky Association.


You can download this latest translation, in fulldome and flat-screen versions!

22 April 2015


Habitat Earth poster

New show!

Connecting with Habitat Earth on Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day 2015, Loch Ness Productions is pleased and proud to add a new show, Habitat Earth: Living in a Connected World, to our distribution catalog for fulldome theaters everywhere on our planet.

The chain of life is the central focus of this 2015 program from the California Academy of Sciences' Morrison Planetarium. Habitat Earth offers stunning visualizations to focus our attention on the natural world and the dynamic relationships between all flora and fauna. Along the way, audiences will learn more about the ways humans fit into this ever-evolving story of connection, and what we can do to ensure that our cohabitation with the natural world leaves a healthy, sustainable planet for generations to come.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Frances McDormand, Habitat Earth advances the boundaries of traditional planetarium content, bringing a uniquely Earth-focused viewpoint to the dome. The 25-minute-long show recently won the Best Brno Observatory and Planetarium Director's Award at the Central European Fulldome Festival.

Inhabit the Habitat Earth Web page for more information, previews, and prices.

22 March 2015


Geodesium "Nuages Gris"

Waiting Far Away

BONUS! Specials and Shorts

A new section for fulldome shows

We've got an ambitious schedule of fulldome show releases planned for the coming weeks and months, with at least a half-dozen new shows to add to our distribution catalog. Before we get to those, though...

We're introducing a new section we've created here on our Web site, accessible from the Products->Fulldome Shows menus and pages. It's called BONUS! Specials and Shorts. It's for titles that are not full feature-length shows, but may still be of interest to those looking for supplementary, alternative, or low-cost content to add to their library.

It's where you'll now find our free-to-download mini-shows, such as Losing the Dark and Light Echoes, from Geodesium "Stella Novus".

You'll also discover other titles that may have no license fee; we charge only our encoding efforts — so you get ready-to-play movies, instead of having to try to make your own from pieces and parts.

If you liked Light Echoes, from Geodesium "Stella Novus", you may enjoy Geodesium "Nuages Gris". It takes the next step beyond, turning Hubble imagery into surreal shapes with symbolic implications, set to a haunting space-music treatment of a Franz Liszt solo piano work. Great for those special occasions when you want to treat your audiences with something other-worldly and extraordinary.

Also in the extraordinary category is a fantasy work of CGI from Wade Sylvester and Jason Fletcher, two animators from Boston's Museum of Science. Titled Waiting Far Away, it's a story of a space-time traveler who has ventured too far in the cosmos and cannot find his way home. But with the wonderful visions he's encountering, audiences may want to drift with him forever, surrounded by fantastic visual worlds.

As new short subjects and featurettes appear, remember — this is the place to find them!

29 January 2015


Losing the Dark

Losing the Dark now available in Norwegian

That makes fifteen languages so far, for our free-to-download show! And there are plans for creating even more.

Check it out!

24 January 2015

various screens

Web site redesign

If you're reading this on your desktop monitor, it may not be apparent our design has changed much from before. But if you're using a portable device — a tablet or smartphone — we hope we've made your browsing experience a lot easier! You shouldn't have to constantly do the pinch/zoom routine like you used to; our pages now optimize themselves for the size of your device's screen. Of course, some pages work better in either portrait or landscape mode, but mobile users are used to flipping their devices around.

Moreover, depending on your browser's viewport size, the navigation menus convert to tap-friendly, single-level dropdowns, from the multi-level "dropdown-on-hover" menus we use for the wide desktop-optimized size. It may take an extra tap or two, but those new responsive menus under the pagenav and sitenav icons will still get you where you want to go. (You'll see them on your monitor too, if you resize your browser window really narrow — try it!)

All this might not seem like a big deal, and some may think we're latecomers to the party. But it took us several months of (un)doing things in our site's HTML code. Our previous design used a tables-based layout, not the flowing CSS model of blocks, divs and floats. There were literally tens of thousands of table cells in our 700+ pages sitewide that needed reworking, and tons of explicit font size calls (measured in points, not scalable ems). Oh, there are still plenty of tables today, but far fewer of them are used just for layout. Some actually contain tabular data, like they're supposed to!

The last redesign was more than a decade ago, and people have told us how easily they've been able to find things on our site. So we kept most things the same, especially for the desktop; the changes are primarily "under the hood", to accomodate mobile screens. In making the conversion, though, we decided to forego support for legacy browsers (such as Internet Explorer 7 and below) that don't fully support CSS3, which wasn't even around when we last tackled site design.

We still have some work remaining, like finding a good responsive WordPress theme for the blog section. Overall, though, the pages come out the way we want on our own hardware. If you're encountering weirdness when you look at the pages, please let us know!

2014

Here's last year's news, if you haven't been here for a while and want to catch up.

Mark C. Petersen, webmaster