The week of April 15-21 is Astronomy Week, with April 20 designated as World Astronomy Day. The celebration lines up around the first quarter moon and is a movement to share the love of astronomy with the world. There are hundreds of locations across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina and more who take part in Astronomy Day activities. Astronomy also plays a large role in many famous movies as well. Here is a look at some of the best movies to watch during Astronomy Week this year.
Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey star in “Contact,” a movie about two astrologists who believe they hear extraterrestrial signals. The movie then focuses on scientists and the governments of the world joining forces to try to decipher the signals and codes that comes in to figure out exactly what that are and where they come from. The movie then has religious fantastic groups clashing with the scientists and the congressional committee deciding if there really are aliens or if it is all a hoax. The movie deals with the astronomical phenomenon of wormholes.
“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”
Steven Spielberg began to look towards the stars in 1977 and directed the sci-fi classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The movie stars Richard Dreyfuss as an electrical lineman named Roy who has a close encounter with a UFO one night while he is driving down a country road. This causes Roy to become fascinated with alien life and start to look to the stars, trying to learn everything he can about the astronomical occurrences that seem to indicate that alien life is about to contact the earth.
“2001: A Space Odyssey”
Arguably one of the most reaching astronomical films is also the greatest science fiction film ever made. Stanley Kubrick made “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1968 and every science fiction film since has strived to live up to its brilliance. The film starts out with the cavemen and then flashes forward to a time when space travel is an option. The movie, at the end of the day, searches for the meaning of life and possibly finds God by the end. It is a movie that takes astronomy and outer space seriously and Kubrick created art with his depiction of the universe.
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