“Supervolcanoes” in the Hansen Dome Theatre

Mike Murray
Over fourteen days, the Toba supervolcano blasted out nearly 3,000 cubic kilometers of ash and rock

Over fourteen days, the Toba supervolcano blasted out nearly 3,000 cubic kilometers of ash and rock

Erupting in the Hansen Dome Theatre on May 23 is Supervolcanoes. The scene was 74,000 years ago, on the island of Sumatra. A volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau. Toba, as the volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But Earth has seen far larger. 250 million years ago, an eruption in what’s now Siberia lasted a million years and was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in Earth’s history.

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?

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming may never suspect they are atop one of the world’s largest active volcanoes

Visitors to Yellowstone National Park may never suspect they are atop one of the world’s largest active volcanoes

Supervolcanoes is a co-production of Spitz Creative Media, Mirage3D and Thomas Lucas Productions, Inc., in association with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch.

The show includes a prelude with a special live introduction produced by Clark Planetarium staff, including a unique 3-dimensional trip to Mars to see what makes a supervolcano “super.” This unique prologue will also feature special full-dome “all sky” spherical images that can only be experienced in the Hansen Dome Theatre.

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