The Planetarium at UT Arlington is making
changes that will allow schoolchildren and other planetarium patrons an even
better picture of our galaxy and beyond, including the opportunity to
experience 3-D features.
A new Digistar 5 projection
system will be installed this month and will be used for shows beginning in
2013. The planetarium, which is part
of the UT Arlington College of Science,
is the only North Texas facility with the new software.
“With these new features, we
will be able to act as if we’re riding in an alien spacecraft visiting other
vistas of the universe, such as extra-solar planets orbiting distant stars,”
said Levent Gurdemir, the planetarium’s director. “The new software also will
allow us to virtually fly from one location to another on Earth because they’ve
integrated Google’s terrain map data. So, we can visit volcanoes, fault lines
or even take a tourist trip to New York City.”
According to computer graphics
innovator Evans &
Sutherland, the maker of the Digistar 5 system, the new software “contains
the most comprehensive set of astronomical data ever assembled, including the
fully integrated Digital Universe data set from the American Museum of Natural
History and NASA.”
“The Planetarium has been a great community outreach
tool for the University, and we expect this upgrade to make it an even more
valuable asset,” said Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science.
Current public shows appeal to a
variety of ages, from the children’s astronomy primer “Secret of the Cardboard
Rocket” to the amusement park ride thriller “Spacepark 360” to the beautiful “Experience
the Aurora.” Holiday shows, including “Holiday Music Magic” and “Season of
Light,” start Dec. 6. For more information, visit www.uta.edu/planetarium/.
On Dec. 21, the venue will host
a Not The End of the World Party from 7 p.m. to midnight, featuring lectures,
arts and crafts and planetarium shows.
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Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,200
students and more than 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas.
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