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‘A Beautiful Planet’ wins lifelong learning award

The Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) has another award to its credit.

The AVL team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign worked on “A Beautiful Planet,” the latest 3D space documentary from acclaimed filmmaker Toni Myers and IMAX Entertainment. Myers recently accepted the “Best Film for Lifelong Learning” award for the movie at the Giant Screen Cinema Association 2016 awards celebration.

“A Beautiful Planet” is a 46-minute film documentary that gives moviegoers a never-before-seen glimpse of Earth from space and provides an increased understanding of our planet and galaxy. In cooperation with NASA, the movie captures footage filmed by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

The movie premiered in New York City in April and was later shown at the Goodrich Savoy 16 IMAX Theater in Champaign county.

The AVL team produced 6 minutes and 20 seconds of visualization, including two dramatic astrophysical voyages: the opening journey into the Milky Way galaxy to the location of our Sun and the closing scene, a flight from the International Space Station to the Earth-like exoplanet K-186f, nearly 500 light years away from Earth.

AVL has a long history of producing cinematic scientific visualizations for full-dome planetarium shows, television documentaries, feature film and IMAX documentary films. The AVL team that worked on “A Beautiful Planet” includes: Robert Patterson (visualization designer/camera), Stuart Levy (visualization/astronomy), AJ Christensen (visualization design/effects), and Kalina Borkiewicz (visualization development).

You can learn more about “A Beautiful Planet” by visiting its official site at

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