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Guided Tour of Solar System Movie Debuts Oct. 11
Promo image for Science on a Sphere - The Wanderers
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Promo image for Science on a Sphere - The Wanderers. Credit: NASA/GSFC

GREENBELT, Md. -- The public can now take a free guided tour of the wonders of our solar system in "The Wanderers," the new Science on a Sphere (SOS) movie premiering at the Visitors Center at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011.

The public is invited to the 7 p.m. show, which will last approximately half an hour, including a brief introduction by Goddard scientists. Advanced registration at is required.

Written, produced and directed at Goddard, the movie will be distributed worldwide through the SOS program developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"When people watch 'The Wanderers,' they will be seeing actual data from planetary missions launched by NASA and other institutions. They will get the current view of what's in the solar system and what it's about," says Amy Simon-Miller, Associate Director for Strategic Science in Goddard's Solar System Exploration Division and one of the film's creators.

The movie derives its name from the ancient Greek word for planet, which meant "wandering star." Starting with the sun, "The Wanderers" portrays the unique character of the planets and other important regions of the solar system, venturing out roughly a light-year to the far reaches of the Oort Cloud. Mercury, for example, has the longest day. Mars has the most earthlike environment. And Neptune has the strongest winds.

"To distill everything that's known about a planet and capture its essence was one of the most interesting parts of this project," says David R. Williams, a planetary scientist and data curator at Goddard and a member of the multidisciplinary team that made the movie.

Tailored for projection on SOS's specially designed spherical movie screen, "The Wanderers" will be offered to the 72 (and counting) SOS sites across North America, Europe and Asia. "The 3-D shape of the sphere lets us highlight the beautiful data that has been collected about the planets and present it in a very natural and easy to understand way," says Simon-Miller.

The movie is also can be downloaded so that viewers can watch a 2-D version anywhere, anytime.

To learn more about the movie, visit:
For an online tour of the solar system, see:
For more information about Science on a Sphere, visit:

Goddard Release No. 11-065

Ed Campion
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.