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EXO: Are We Alone?

EXO: Are We Alone?

Multimedia show with live commentary at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan

  • Location: Milky Way Theatre
  • Audience: ages 7 and up
  • Full dome experience
  • Length: 40 minutes
    (before the 30-minute Exo show, there will be a presentation on tonight’s sky)

Technical Informations

  • Production
    Space for Life
  • Executive Producer, Project Manager, Director and Photo Director
    Sébastien Gauthier
  • Script
    Sébastien Gauthier
    Loïc Quesnel
  • Original score
    Martin Roy
    Luc Sicard
  • Sound Designer
    Benoît Dame
  • Artistic Directors, Special Effects
    François Guinaudeau
    Antonin Gaud
  • Dome Master 360° Editor
    Marlène Poulin
  • Production Co-ordinators
    Lou Sauvajon
    Loïc Quesnel
  • Educator-commentator team co-ordinator
    Étienne Laurence
  • Special effects and post-production
    Antonin Gaud
    François Guinaudeau
    Pierre-Alexis Tremblay
    Patrick Goski
    Arnaud Mariat
    Bruno Colpron
    Gwendal Creurer
  • 3D astronomical simulations
    Maxime Pivin Lapointe
  • 360° filming
    Nicolas Didtsch
    Maxime Pivin Lapointe
    Bruno Colpron
    Sam Brooks
    Olivier Grunewald
  • Specialised filming
    Christian Sardet (CNRS)
    Noé Sardet and Sharif Mirshak (Parafilms)
    in collaboration with the Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer and theTara Expeditions Foundation 
  • Scientific advisors
    Camille Lefebvre
    Marie-Ève Naud
    Team from the Université de Montréal Institut de recherche sur les exoplanètes (iREx)
  • Philosophical advisors
    François Dion
    Christophe Malaterre

One question, different opinions and a multitude of things to think about

A year ago, some thirty experts gathered to discuss producing the fall show for the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. It had to fit with the 2017 Montréal Space for Life theme of “celebrating the living world.”

This brainstorming session engendered a show that’s sure to spark discussion and debate and get people thinking about some big questions. For instance, how will it change our lives if we do find life outside our Solar System? If it’s possible to communicate with them, how will we do so? And what if we find out that there’s nothing out there? How will that affect us? All these questions, extending beyond the bounds of astronomy, are sure to inspire some philosophical musing for audience members.

In addition, once they’ve seen Exo, visitors will know how exoplanets are identified and how we go about determining whether they hold life. They’ll be better equipped to understand the complex scientific advances being made in this exciting field.


Creating a connection between humans and other life forms

This “feel good movie” about life is intended to be celebratory, positive and exciting. The Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan team hopes to get audiences interested not only in astronomy research, but also in creating connections between ourselves and the extraterrestrial life that may be out there in the Universe.


Looking for extraterrestrial life… on Earth

What do Montréal, Hawaii and Ethiopia have in common? They all helped inspire the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan team, which went to some of these places to meet passionate researchers and film images of sophisticated infrastructures aimed at uncovering the secrets of the Universe. The team explored different places attesting to the incredible variety of life forms, and gathered images illustrating extreme conditions right here on Earth similar to the hostile environments on other planets. Audiences will be able to see these visuals projected in all their splendour on the Planetarium’s 360° dome.

As they travelled, the team was fortunate to meet a number of passionate researchers and to film at some strategic sites in the field of astronomy, including the Gemini North and Keck observatories on the Mauna Kea summit on the Big Island in Hawaii, and the Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, in West Virginia. The tremendous diversity of the different life forms on Earth was filmed at the Biodôme, Insectarium, Mount Royal Park, Parc Oméga, underwater and on land on the Big Island and at Dallol, a volcano in Ethiopia. Dallol’s extreme climate makes it a hostile environment with conditions similar to those on Earth when the first life forms appeared on our planet.

Schedule of shows

Downloadable documents

EXO: Are We Alone? - Fact sheet[ - 490.3 KB - 2 pages]

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