The Culp Planetarium is dedicated to delivering science outreach content to HPU students and the broader community during the COVID-19 crisis. We recognize these times present special challenges to K-12 teachers and their students. As such, we are developing new ways to share our state-of-the-art technology with people remotely. From “What’s Up Tonight?” presentations to watching one of our fulldome movies at home, we hope you find something that ignites your passion. Continue reading below for more information on these opportunities. You don’t want to miss out on this content, so be sure to:
As you all navigate through this crisis where you are, we hope you’ll continue to find inspiration by looking up and pondering the mysteries of our wonderful universe.
In celebration of 2020’s virtual #DayforHPU, we produced a video tour of the planetarium for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of HPU. Watch the video below to see our state-of-the-art facilities and learn more about our programming.
Our planetarium’s logo was designed by HPU physics alumnus Michael Welter (’19) and contains hidden imagery that encompasses everything we do in the planetarium – from biology to astronomy to geology and more! Depending on how you color parts of the design, you can find images of our planetarium dome, Earth floating in space, a rocket ship, a flower, and much more. But we want to know what patterns YOU find in our design! Take the Culp Planetarium Logo Challenge by following the steps below. We can’t wait to see your own creative designs!
Want to keep up with astronomical events visible from the NC Triad that you can watch from your backyard? Then subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out our “Piedmont Skies’ series.
We would like to invite K-12 students and their teachers to join us for our new Cosmic Classroom series on YouTube. We will cover a range of topics from the solar system to galaxies to current astronomical events everyone can look for in the night sky. Although much of what we do will be geared towards elementary and middle school students, older audiences will also find interest in our work. We hope to tailor some of our virtual shows to schools in the NC Triad, although viewers from all locations will find useful content in each our videos.
Previous tailored shows: Cornerstone Charter Academy (Greensboro, NC), Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School(Winston-Salem, NC), Southwest Elementary (High Point, NC), Montlieu Academy of Technology (High Point, NC), Kirkman Park Elementary (High Point, NC), Wesleyan Christian Academy (High Point, NC), Oak Hill Elementary School (High Point, NC)
We’re excited to bring you flatscreen versions of some of our popular fulldome documentaries, so you can watch from home! Each week, we’ll release a new fulldome movie. They will be accessible through links we add below, at 12:00pm (noon) on each movie’s release date. We hope you enjoy these with friends and family! Please note that due to our agreement with the producers, antipiracy text will scroll across the screen every few minutes.
Jun 12, 2020 Release
Length: 23 minutes
To Space and 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. What’s happening above is coming back down to Earth!Discover how we’ve been changed by space exploration, and what we owe to curiosity and the spirit of discovery.
May 15, 2020 Release
Length: 24 minutes
Supervolcanoes is an immersive planetarium show that looks back at rare classes of 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 around our solar system. Audiences will fly down to Neptune’s frigid moon Triton, and onto the ultimate volcanic world: Jupiter’s moon Io. On a visit to a legendary North American hot spot, Yellowstone National Park, the film asks: can a supervolcano erupt in our time?
May 8, 2020 Release
Length: 24 minutes
While on a routine fossil-hunting expedition, the Zula Patrol turns up evidence that the villainous Deliria Delight has been travelling back in time to Earth’s prehistoric past to illegally dump her company’s toxic trash. The Zula Patrollers must find and catch her, before her actions cause catastrophic consequences. In the process, our heroes learn all about the formation and development of Earth, and the life forms who call it home.
May 1, 2020 Release
Length: 24 minutes
Scientists now believe that our galaxy is filled with solar systems, including up to a billion planets roughly the size of our own. The film employs advanced, data-driven, cinematic-quality visualizations to explore some of the greatest questions in science today: How did Earth become a living planet in the wake of our solar system’s violent birth? What does its history tell us about our chances of finding other worlds that are truly Earth-like?
April 24, 2020 Release
Length: 45 minutes
A learning adventure of a father and his teenage daughter Lucy, who share a fascination for all things that fly. You’ll travel back in time to meet the pterosaurs and the ancestors of modern-day birds: the feathered dinosaurs. Lucy and her father navigate from continent to continent, looking for clues about the origins of flight. When time runs out they experience first-hand the cataclysmic “last day” of the dinosaurs. Science content includes topics such as continental drift, proper motion of stars, asteroids and impacts, extinctions and the convergent development of flight among species.
April 17, 2020 Release
Length: 24 minutes
A fury is building on the surface of the Sun: high-velocity jets, a fiery tsunami wave 100,000 km high, rising loops of electrified gas. What’s driving these strange phenomena? How will they affect planet Earth? Find the answers as we venture into the seething interior of our star. Solar Superstorms is a major new production that takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and superhot plasma that vent the Sun’s rage in dramatic flares, violent solar tornadoes, and the largest eruptions in the Solar System: coronal mass ejections. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.
April 10, 2020 Release
Length: 23 minutes
The story: the stalwart heroes of the Zula Patrol are on an expedition collecting samples of weather for scientist Multo’s research. When the Zula gang inadvertently hurts their loyal pet Gorga’s feelings, he decides to leave Zula and find another planet to live on. Villain Dark Truder then tricks Gorga into helping with his latest nefarious scheme to rule the Universe. The Zula Patrollers find out and go after him – in the process learning all about weather, both terrestrial and interplanetary.
April 3, 2020 Release
Length: 25 minutes
This fulldome movie will dazzle audiences with virtual rides aboard spacecraft of the future. They are based on whole new technologies designed to achieve ultra-high speeds, using exotic next generation rocket fuels and breakthrough concepts in physics. How far can our technology take us? Narrated by Sean Bean.
Thanks to Spitz, Inc. for making flat-screen versions of some of our planetarium shows available for us to share with you during the COVID-19 outbreak. Check back soon for access!