Beyond The (Planetarium) Stars

Sep 4, 2012

Beginning on September 22, visitors to the Buhl Planetarium at the Carnegie Science Center will be able to do more than look at stars, but it will take some work to get there.

Between September 4 and 21, the planetarium will be closed for renovation. Among the renovations being made to the Planetarium is new lighting, which Planetarium program development coordinator Robert Marshall says will be outfitted with green LED bulbs that are the brightest on the market.

“We’re talking about over 1,100 lumens per foot, which is going to make the Planetarium experience much more immersive,” Marshall said.

In addition to making the Planetarium a brighter place, these new bulbs will enlighten the audience on the solar system while keeping them entertained.

“This will allow us to enhance our actual shows that we currently have and we currently do for the public by adding in neat effects that we would not otherwise have the capability [to do],” Marshall said.

The other major renovation for the Planetarium will be the addition of an audience voting process. During shows, the audience can vote via keypads on their chair’s armrest on what they think is the brightest night star, or even on what route the show will take.

“The show might be dependent on voter’s choice on where you want to go in the solar system,” Marshall said. “If you want to do the low gravity hop on the moon, press green, if you want to go to Venus, press red.”