Scobee Planetarium upgrade delivers new, more immersive experience

August 5, 2022

Office of Marketing & Strategic Communication

Visitors to the Scobee Planetarium will have a much better look at the universe thanks to a new, upgraded digital system.

The Digistar 7, a state-of-the-art planetarium system, was installed in June to provide better quality imagery and the ability to bring livestreamed events and shows from around the world to the domed ceiling of the planetarium.

“This brings a new capability of bringing space down to earth, to show the wonders of our cosmos to the public in a way that could never have been done before,” said Michelle Risse, planetarium coordinator at the Scobee Education Center.

Planetarium.jpgIn addition to better graphics and a more immersive experience, the new Digistar 7 system also allows the planetarium to show programs and events in real time to planetarium audiences. As a NASA partner, the Scobee plans to livestream the launch of the Artemis One live mission to the moon, scheduled for late August or early September. Artemis 1 is the first mission of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to establish a sustainable human presence on and around the moon by the end of the 2020s.

The new system opens up many possibilities for the planetarium, such as livestreaming with the international space station or dome casting, where another planetarium across the country can connect to the Scobee to project their own presentation.

The Scobee is also adding two new shows this fall, including the “Unseen Universe,” a look at the latest cutting-edge astronomy and how the infrared technology used in the James Webb Space Telescope now allows humans to see the universe in a new way.  

After celebrating the planetarium’s 60th anniversary last year, the new Digistar system is a fitting start to the next decade of exploring the universe at the Scobee, Risse said.

“We’re happy to be back in the swing of things and happy to share the wonders of the cosmos with the public,” Risse said.