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The skies get a little closer to us from tomorrow

T.V. Sivanandan
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Digital planetarium to be inaugurated in Gulbarga

Celestial view: The state-of-the-art digital planetarium in Gulbarga will allow visitors to zoom in on any object in the sky.
Celestial view: The state-of-the-art digital planetarium in Gulbarga will allow visitors to zoom in on any object in the sky.

Science lovers and students of the region will soon be transported to a spectacular celestial world as they get an opportunity to explore galaxies in the state-of-the-art digital planetarium at the District Science Centre here.

The planetarium will be inaugurated on October 26 by Union Labour and Employment Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge.

After the District Science Centre at Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, the one in Gulbarga will be the second in the country to get a planetarium of this kind, established at a cost of Rs. 90 lakh.

According to officials of the National Council of Science Museums, which runs the district science centres throughout the country, similar planetariums will be established at 11 other centres.

The digital planetarium is significantly more powerful than an analogue one with the pinhole system. It allows a visitor to label and zoom in on any object in the sky for easy identification, or even manipulate planet trails. There are over 100 images of deep space and it shows details about annual motion including retrograde planetary motion. As it has an integrated multimedia player, it allows for the display of videos and pre-recorded shows, offering a special experience.

“It not just displays but ‘takes' you to the surface of any object…[it is] beyond imagination,” said a senior official of the National Council of Science Museums, speaking to The Hindu here on Sunday. It would revolutionise the way astronomy is taught, he said.

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