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Press Release

New Images of Possible Life-Sustaining Worlds in
The Search for Life in Space Deepen Our Understanding of the Universe 

OPENING EXCLUSIVELY AT FERNBANK MUSEUM'S IMAX® THEATRE ON OCT. 7

ATLANTA, GA [Sept. 27, 2016] – Are we alone in the universe? Thanks to NASA's new brand of science—astrobiology—we're much more likely to find out. The Search for Life in Space, a new documentary adventure opens Friday, October 7, 2016 in the IMAX® Theatre at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The Search for Life in Space is an eye-opening journey into what scientists know about life in the cosmos and what we are actually looking for when we train the world's most powerful telescopes on the sky. With stunning new images of possible life-sustaining worlds—from the surface of Mars to the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn—and close-up views of life in extreme environments here on Earth, The Search for Life in Spacedeepens our understanding of the universe and makes us re-examine such fundamental questions as: "Is there life elsewhere beyond Earth?" 

At the heart of The Search for Life in Spaceis the question posed by astrobiologists: "What can life on Earth tell us about other potential life in the harsh environments of space?" The Search for Life in Space provides what we know about the answer, with giant-screen footage taken from extreme lava fields in Hawaii and thermal vents deep beneath the Pacific Ocean. The tenacious life forms that survive there provide models for what might be alive on other planets and moons in our Solar System—and beyond.

 "What is unique about The Search for Life in Spaceis that itis not purely about astronomy, but about placing Earth into our idea of space as a whole," said producer/director Stephen Amezdroz, of December Media. "Everything that happens here on Earth could happen on another planet, or another moon—and it might be happening already."

The film's scientific foundations are based on the work of Lisa Kaltenegger, the founder and director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, and star of The Search for Life in Space. She focuses on "exoplanets," which are planets that orbit a star, as Earth orbits the Sun. Kaltenegger has found a provocative way to rank the potential of life on other planets and moons. She's learned that the chemical makeup of the air—oxygen, water, methane—gives off a unique "spectral signature" when light penetrates atmospheres above them. She's created an "Alien ID Chart for life," a catalog of the various spectral signatures, so that scientists can spend more time evaluating worlds that look the most like Earth.

"More than twenty years ago, we didn't even have the technology to find out if there were planets orbiting other stars like our own, the Sun, in the galaxy," Kaltenegger said. "But now we do." Locating the ones that can support life puts us one step closer to exploring "the fascinating diversity of potential life out there."

The Search for Life in Space is family-friendly and has a run time of 32 minutes. Projected on an impressive five-story screen, The Search for Life in Space will show daily in Fernbank's IMAX® Theatre starting Oct. 7 through Feb. 2, 2017. The film will also show Friday evenings during Martinis & IMAX® through November 18, 2016.

Tickets for The Search for Life in Space are on sale now. To purchase tickets, view exact show times and to watch the trailer, visit http://www.fernbankmuseum.org/explore/imax-theatre/the-search-for-life-in-space/. IMAX® tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for seniors, $11 for children and $8 for Museum members, and can be purchased online at fernbankmuseum.org or by calling 404.929.6400.

Special Programming

In celebration of The Search for Life in Space, Fernbank will host Out of This World Day on Saturday, October 8, 2016 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Out of this World Day will feature demonstrations from SOAR Rocketry, Georgia Tech Ramblin' Rocket Club and the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project*, as well as space-themed crafts and activities. All Out of this World Day activities are included with Museum admission and are free for members. (*weather permitting)

About The Search for Life in Space

The Search for Life in Space is a December Media film produced in association with Film Victoria Australia and Swinburne University of Technology. It is executive produced by Emmy®-award-winning producer Tony Wright and Stuart Menzies, produced and directed by Stephen Amezdroz, with a musical score by Dale Cornelius. The film is distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films.

December Media is one of Australia's most experienced producers of award-winning live action and documentary television. With more than 20 years' experience, the company is known for its high-quality dramas, documentaries, and series made for Australian and international markets. The Search for Life in Space is its second in a trilogy of films for IMAX® theatres that explore the latest scientific evidence about the nature and evolution of our universe, following the critically acclaimed Hidden Universe.

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