August 1, 2014 -- Welcome to The Search for Life in the Universe

Unless otherwise noted, all activities are free. Free parking on First Fridays!

Share your First Friday experience—use #SciFiFriSTL

James S. McDonnell Planetarium – all programs free unless otherwise noted

6-9pm            Experience Flight: Try out our flight simulators – $5 and $6

                      Play Johann Sebastian Joust! (Planetarium Lobby)

7pm               Planetarium Show: Seeking New Earths (Star Bay)

8-11pm          Public Telescope Viewing (Archery Field, weather permitting)

8pm               Special Presentation: Life on Ice with Dr. Dale Andersen, SETI Institute-Free!
                    Limited seating -- get tickets at the Planetarium and Main Building box offices

9:30pm          Screening of Outer Limits episode, “The Galaxy Being” (Star Bay)     

Boeing Hall (First Floor) Last First Friday to visit this special exhibition!

6-8pm         Tour DINOSAURS IN MOTION ($9/$8 Non-Member Adult/Child)

Dino Overlook (First Floor)

Demos and Activities, , 6-9pm        

  • Join the Bonfyre and take your picture in an alien landscape and participate in a scavenger hunt!
  • Cowabunga! At our August First Friday, Turtle Power Returns! Stop by the Allied Promotions table to learn about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film opening August 8and win prizes, including passes to an advance screening.
  • Design and construct your own alien life form at the Maker Space.
  • Participate in the citizen science project Cosmo Quest with Dr. Nicole Gugliucci, SIU-E
  • Test video games created by local video game developers - Happy Badger Studio, PlazSoft, Graphite Lab, and APP Gamer Universe
  • Play a giant game of “Simon” with Arch Reactor, St. Louis’ local hacker space.
  • Get a massage from Wellness Choice.

CenterStage (Lower Level)

7pm     Demo: Where Are the New Worlds?

9pm     The Improv Shop Presents (CenterStage)

AB Classroom (Lower Level)

7:30pm Special Screening: How to Survive on Planet 9 by Damon Davis

Cyberville Gallery (Second Floor)

6-9pm See the Science Center’s 3D printer at work!

The Loft (Second Floor) Check out our food and drink specials!

6-9pm Learn about the upcoming Archon 38 conference.

See a demonstration of thermoplastics with Anime St. Louis.

7pm    First Fridays’ Trivia – limited seating.

 OMNIMAX® Theater (Second Floor)

Evening pricing ($6, all tickets; $5 for college students with valid id).

6:30  Titans Of The Ice Age

7:30 Special Effects 

10pm   Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Free! Limited space; tickets available at the Main Building ticket booths, starting at 6pm.


Answers to Your First Fridays’ Questions

More about the SETI Lab and our feature presentation with Dr. Dale Anderson Life on Ice

It’s a place few people have seen or even imagined and distant from familiar, everyday surroundings. At times the weather can be as harsh as the terrain with winds carrying blinding snow reaching 110 mph. For four months the darkness is company only to the sounds of cracking ice and the ever present howling of the winds. The surrounding mountains rise up majestically to soaring, pinnacled peaks, blocking the passage of the continental ice that surrounds them. The gentle slope of the Anuchin Glacier flows in from the north halting at its edge. Lake Untersee: within the mountains of Queen Maud Land is a hidden world that resembles Earth's earliest biosphere. One dominated by microbial life forming the same fabrics and structures that one sees preserved in sediments dating back 3.45 billion years. Beneath its thick perennial ice-cover are cyanobacterial mats growing undisturbed as they did billions of years ago - its like a postcard from the past; one that can help us understand how those early ecosystems thrived on a planet with an atmosphere nearly devoid of oxygen. Lake Untersee is a difficult place to live and work,  but we are seeking new knowledge - knowledge that will inform us about Earth's past history and help us understand its future. Our research also helps guide the search for evidence of life on other distant worlds such as Mars or the outer moons of Jupiter or Saturn...and beyond.      

Dale T. Andersen

Is a scientist at the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. With an interest in locating and understanding environments where physical and chemical conditions approach or exceed the tolerances for life as we know it, he has been involved with NASA’s exobiology and astrobiology programs since the 1980s. Andersen has made more than 600 dives beneath thick, perennially ice-covered lakes and oceans in the Arctic and Antarctic. Dale has been a Fellow Member of The Explorers Club since 1987.

How does First Fridays’ Trivia work?

To play, register as a team or as an individual, at The Loft. We can accommodate up to 15 teams. There will be five rounds of trivia, with five questions each round. Prizes for the winners of each round!

How do I get tickets for the 10pm movie and the special presentation?

Get your tickets at the Main Building ticket booths (not in the Planetarium), starting at 6pm. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each person can get up to four tickets for your group. Once you have a ticket, be in the theater by 10 pm to claim your seat. If all tickets have been given out, visitors can wait in the stand-by line. At 10 pm, we will let people waiting in the stand-by line into the theater, to fill all empty seats.

Join the Bonfyre!

We’re using a cool, St. Louis-based mobile app called Bonfyre for our First Fridays’ Contests, trivia, scavenger hunts, photo sharing, communication and more! Bonfyre is a free app for iPhone, Android and the web ( and you can join the First Friday bonfyre in minutes. Find our bonfyre by searching “SLSC First Fridays” in the Bonfyre app.

Don’t miss these upcoming First Fridays!

Friday, September 5 Doctor Who

Dr. Edward Gomez, lecturer at Cardiff University presents “Traveling to Alien Worlds”, will give a physicist’s perspective on the Doctor’s travels in the TARDIS and the aliens and planets he encounters.

Friday, October 3      What Makes a Monster

Friday, November 7  The Science of Sherlock Holmes

Friday, December 5  Battlestar Galactica – So Say We All