Getting Sky Oriented

Create a sunset with the first stars of evening and a full Moon visible: Fast forward to approximately 90 minutes past sunset over 30 seconds. Fade out the atmosphere and (if necessary) clouds. Ensure that the Milky Way is off and that the number of stars visible has been reduced by about 50 percent.

Leave “light pollution” (cove lights) on.

Many people throughout the world have learned star patterns, told star stories, and used the stars to find directions. Where are you from? Pretend we’re in your town. There’s a lot of light pollution. Let’s go back 1,000 years and see the sky the way Native Americans might have seen it.

DIGITAL EFFECT: End Light Pollution
Set the realtime sky to 100% over 5 seconds.

Turn off light pollution.

Can you find the Big Dipper?

[Offer a pointer to a volunteer. Point out seven bright stars in the Big Dipper.]

Can you find the North Star?

[Point it out; show how to find it using pointer stars of the Big Dipper.The North Star is also called Polaris.]

A set of optional digital effects are useful for unidirectional theaters. For example, “Position On” may toggle the position information; “Ocean Sound On” may fade on/off the ocean sound file. 
“Dome Yaw S–>N” may rotate the dome 180° in 20 seconds to swap dome South and North. 
“Dome Yaw N–>S” may restore the dome to 0° in 20 seconds to put dome South back in its default location.

DIGITAL EFFECT: Find the Big Dipper
Fade on a pot outline for the Big Dipper

DIGITAL EFFECT: Line to Polaris
Crossfade the pot outline with the stick figure of the Big Dipper. After a 4 second delay, draw a line from the pointer stars to Polaris. Hightlight Polaris after the line reaches Polaris, and fade off the Big Dipper lines.