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IceCube feature film to premiere in Milwaukee planetarium show

October 31, 2013

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is one of a kind. Built deep within the Antarctic ice, it is the world’s largest neutrino detector. Now, thanks to a collaboration between the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC) and the Milwaukee Public Museum, it boasts another unique aspect: its own planetarium show.

Chasing the Ghost Particle: From the South Pole to the Edge of the Universe” is a 30-minute film about IceCube construction and the extreme cosmic phenomena it explores, like exploding stars and the environments near black holes. The fulldome planetarium show offers a look inside IceCube, where neutrinos, or “ghost particles,” interact and provide physicists with insight into the most mysterious processes in the universe.

“The planetarium provides a unique experience that is ideally suited to introducing IceCube science to new audiences,” says WIPAC Education and Outreach Associate Director Jim Madsen. “And working with the Graduate School to bring UW students to the premiere is a great way to share the excitement with campus.”

The show premieres at the Milwaukee Public Museum on Thursday, Nov. 21, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison Graduate School is sponsoring a contest for graduate students. During the three-week contest, a question is released each Monday and six winners are chosen from the pool of correct answers. Eighteen winners will receive two tickets along with two reserved seats on a bus to the premiere.

The first week’s contest winners will be announced the morning of Monday, Nov. 4, in GradConnection and WIPAC and Grad School Twitter accounts @uwastrophysics and @UWMadGSEd. The second and third contest questions will be released at noon on Monday, Nov. 4, and Monday, Nov. 11. Answers must be submitted by the following Friday at noon.

The premiere is open to the public but seats are limited. To reserve tickets, call the Milwaukee Public Museum box office at 414-278-2728. “Chasing the Ghost Particle” will show regularly in Milwaukee through mid-February, 2014.

—Laurel Norris