Its diameter is almost twice as long as a bowling alley lane. Its screen is taller than four giraffes. It offers a true 8K projection. Its lights produce trillions of colors and it will provide breaking space and astronomy news and discoveries in real time.
Those who have visited Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, know how the hours rush by as you examine the vast space and fascinating exhibits. Now get ready for your greatest experience yet – the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium has opened just in time for out-of-this world holiday experiences.
Jennifer Chalsty, a New Jersey philanthropist and LSC Board Member, donated $5 million to create the planetarium. The gift provided for the conversion of the IMAX Dome Theater from film to digital, the addition of software and hardware necessary for the theater to also function as a planetarium, the replacement of the screen and the refurbishing of the entire theater.
When it comes to planetariums, size is very important and thanks to its tremendous screen, impressive programming and technological innovations, LSC’s planetarium will provide an unsurpassed learning opportunity for school groups, families and adults. With a diameter of 89 feet, the dome is so vast that every other planetarium in this hemisphere can fit inside of it, even the famed Hayden Planetarium in New York. Visitors will be able to fly through the universe, experience the grandness of space, roam planetary surfaces, navigate asteroid fields and watch the latest full-dome movies on a screen that is 60 feet tall and covers over 12,000 square feet.
For the opening of the planetarium’s live presentations, the Science Center has partnered with the Space Telescope Science Institute to premier a beautiful, high-definition visualization of the Orion Nebula, prior to its official release at the American Astronomical Society in Washington, DC in January 2018. The Institute has developed the high-definition, 3-D model of the Orion Nebula based on the Hubble Space Science Telescope’s findings. Inside the planetarium, you will see star and planet formations in more beauty and detail than in any other place in the cosmos. Visitors will experience what it is like to travel into the heart of the nebula in a level of detail never before seen.
The technological details are simply astounding. The planetarium’s lighting system can produce over 281 trillion individual colors. No, that is not a misprint – 281,000,000,000,000 colors! This allows the planetarium dome to look like the blue Earth daytime sky, changing to the red sky of Mars in an instant. The night sky has never looked as impressive as it does under the dome, which can also produce rapidly changing patterns to enhance laser shows. In addition, guests will also be able to enjoy immersive 8K films on the wraparound dome screen, thanks to a brand new digital projection system.
Liberty Science Center is located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty. Dedicated to bringing the power, promise and pure fun of science and technology to people of all ages, the 300,000 square foot center houses, in addition to the planetarium, there are 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, live simulcast surgeries, a tornado-force wind simulator, K-12 classrooms and labs and teacher-development programs. LSC is the largest interactive science center in the NYC-NJ metropolitan area.