Have you ever wandered away from the glaring city lights, gazing up in the cool stillness, to ponder over the stars and assorted celestial bodies? The planetarium here, which has installed a PowerDome digital projection system as part of a Rs.4-crore technology overhaul, is now offering this ‘celestial outing.’

The planetarium, attached to the Regional Science Centre (RSC), will reopen for the public after the upgrade on Wednesday. There will be four regular shows titled ‘Realm of light (24 minutes) starting from 12 noon, says RSC Project Coordinator V.S. Ramachandran.

The newly installed projection system, with nine projectors of, will provide a complete full-dome movie experience to the viewers. “Ours is the first planetarium in the State to have this latest and the best projection technology in the world,” he says.

The fully automatic, software controlled, and shadow-free system also comes with excellent sound quality.

The seating, circular earlier, has been altered to a position (facing north) to enable better viewing. The number of seats has been reduced from 260 to 225. “By all standards ours is one of the best planetariums in the world now,” Mr. Ramachandran says adding that the renovation was undertaken by the German company Carl Zeiss after winning the project via global tender.

In the next phase, an opto-mechanical projector will be installed to make the planetarium a ‘hybrid one.’ Technicians are already working on it and it will be ready by August.

Once that is installed another 40-minute show — ‘Exploring the universe: probing the heavens with Galileo’ — will be part of the daily shows. “The opto-mechanical projector cannot be installed during the monsoon and hence the delay,” he says.

The planetarium here, which gets the highest number of visitors among the 28 such in the country, is among the two under the Union government.

It was opened to public in January 1997.

Planetarium to reopen for public on Wednesday after technology upgrade.

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