Decoding Starlight

Decoding Starlight is a 30-min show produced by Hong Kong Space Museum for planetariums and digital dome theatres. Info, trailer & full preview available.

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Type: Feature show
Genre: Documentary
Release date: March 2016

Directed by: Patrick Lau




Since ancient times, humanity has been fascinated by the starry sky. They even grouped stars into constellations and associated them with mythological figures or daily objects. However, these interesting stories were also all that the ancients knew of the stars. How far away from us are stars? What actually are stars? The ancients have been puzzled without a clue.

In 1672, two breakthroughs shed light on these longstanding questions about stars. By cleverly using trigonometry and the relative sizes of the planetary orbits, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini figured out the distance between the Earth and its nearest star – the Sun. By proposing that the sunlight was composed of lights of different colours, the British physicist Isaac Newton laid the groundwork for the wide application of spectroscopy in science later.

Thanks to more powerful telescopes and the advancement in physics, humanity has a better grasp of the distances of stars and the meaning of stellar spectra. It turns out that a spectrum contains important information of a star, such as its mass, surface temperature and chemical composition. Although astronomers cannot reach for the stars, they are familiar with them. Spectra even reveal the distances of faraway galaxies, allowing us to have a glimpse of the vastness of the observable universe.

The Sky Show Decoding Starlight leads the audience following the astronomers’ footsteps to unlock the secrets of the stars. What more can the starlight reveal to us the mysteries of the Universe?

For planetariums and digital dome theaters.


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Show details

Shorter version runtime : not available
Full version runtime: 30 minutes
Suitable for: General audience
Target audience: 14 - 18, Adults
License: Short-term license
Resource & materials: Poster

Technical specifications

Video format: Fulldome
Resolution: 4K
Frame rate: 30 fps
Show orientation: Unidirectional
Stereo 3D: None
Production technologies: CG, Live action, Still photography
Audio format: 5.1
Languages: English, Cantonese, Chinese, Japanese

Production & Support

Produced by


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