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Published: Thursday, 3/7/2013

Supervolcanoes coming to Lourdes’ Appold Planetarium

LOURDES UNIVERSITY

Imagine a volcanic eruption 1,000 times stronger than that of Mount St. Helens’ VEI 5 in 1980 or Mt. Pinatubo’s VEI 6 in 1991.

A volcano whose molten lava and ash can spread more than 240 cubic miles, triggering long-lasting weather changes sufficient to threaten species with extinction.

This spring, Lourdes University’s Appold Planetarium show Supervolcanoes will take visitors back 74,000 years to the island of Sumatra, where a volcanic eruption triggered the sudden and violent collapse of a vast regional plateau.

Showings will be on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.: March 9, March 23, April 6, April 20.

Toba, as the Sumatra volcano is known today, was the largest volcanic eruption in the last 25 million years. But the Earth has seen far larger volcanic eruptions. An eruption in what is now Siberia, occurred over 250 million years ago. Lasting more than a million years, it was probably responsible for the greatest episode of mass extinction in the Earth's history.

Supervolcanoes is a show that looks back at rare classes of volcanic eruptions that have marshaled the energy that lurks beneath the surface of planet Earth. The program moves beyond Earth to explore the impact of giant volcanic eruptions found in our solar system as well. Audiences will fly to Neptune's frigid moon Triton, and onto Jupiter's moon Io, the ultimate volcanic world.

Admission to the show is $5 for adults and $4 for children under 12 and for Lourdes students presenting their student ID. Shows at the Appold are limited to 50 and often sell out.

For more information or to purchase tickets contact Lori Witham, Appold Planetarium Interim Coordinator, at 419-517-8897 or email planetarium@lourdes.edu.

For a list of current and upcoming shows, visit the Appold Planetarium online at www.lourdes.edu/planetarium.



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