The Paw Print
Over the summer Zacheis Planetarium was totally renovated now students will have an opportunity to celebrate the changes during the grand opening celebration beginning Sept. 7.
Construction started in May and the finished product was tested out the first week of school. The major renovations in the Zacheis Planetarium included a modern digital full dome projection system, new theater seats, and new carpet. The new system can show professionally produced full dome shows as well as star tours that were shown in the old planetarium. The new planetarium also has a star projector, cove lights, and sound system.
On Thursday, Aug. 23 Planetarium Director Robert Astalos invited the community to check out the new system, and showed Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity a movie made by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science that was graphically designed scene by scene. A movie that takes people to other worldly wormholes, the creation of the Milky Way Galaxy, the violent death of a star and the birth of a black hole. The movie also talks about mathematical equations, cutting edge science, and Einstein’s theories to fill in holes along the way. Every move was realistic, and the movements though space was as if the person traveled there themselves.
The new screen is a high tech Spitz sciDome 1600 projector that is capable of projecting a 1600 pixel diameter circle on the screen. The planetarium now has eight professionally produced full dome shows for outreach to local schools and the community. The new planetarium will show a different perspective of the universe. The computer program is designed to control the dome, and show different views at different times in the past and the possible future. The new screen has 51 panels that took about an hour each to put up.
The Zacheis Planetarium is dedicated to public outreach and education in science in general, and astronomy in particular, not only to college students but to others in the community. The new system will allow students to participate in teach others about the world around them.
The renovation was part of a five-year grant from the US department of education. The grant is to increase enrollment and graduates in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. It also includes the completion of the third floor science building construction and the new observatory located on the north end of campus that will be the home for all telescopes.
A grand opening celebration of the newly remodeled Zacheis Planetarium is open to the public on Friday Sept. 7 with shows at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. also on the 8th with shows starting from 3 to 9 p.m. all will shows last at least an hour. For more information, get updates on events, or want to take a tour please go to blogs.adams.edu/zacheis or contact Astalos.