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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)

Schedule of shows



Technical Informations

Production: Space for Life

Executive Producer, Project Manager, Director and Photo Director: Sébastien Gauthier

Script: Sébastien Gauthier and Loïc Quesnel

Original score: Martin Roy and Luc Sicard

Sound Designer: Benoît Dame

Artistic Directors, Special Effects: François Guinaudeau and Antonin Gaud

Dome Master 360° Editor: Marlène Poulin

Production Co-ordinators: Lou Sauvajon and 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 wjth the Observatoire Océanologique de Villefranche-sur-Mer and theTara Expeditions Foundation 

Scientific advisors: Camille Lefebvre, Marie-Ève Naud and the 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.

Downloadable documents

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

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