Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

WKU’s Hardin Planetarium adds digital projection system

WKU’s Hardin Planetarium adds digital projection system

A new digital projection system at the Hardin Planetarium may not take audiences to infinity and beyond but “it does take us places we were never able to see before,” according to WKU astronomy professor Richard Gelderman.

“This system can take you anywhere a computer programmer’s imagination can go,” Dr. Gelderman said.

The Hardin Planetarium's new digital projection system was installed in late December. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

The Hardin Planetarium’s new digital projection system was installed in late December. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

The Digitarium system, purchased from Digitalis Education Solutions in Bremerton, Wash., arrived in late December and replaced the original star projector installed at the Hardin Planetarium in 1967.

“The new projector provides three new features,” Dr. Gelderman said. “It is immersive, which means it’s all around you and you’re in the middle. It is 360 degrees, which means it wraps around you. And it is full-dome, which means it’s over the top as well as all around you.”

Since late December, Dr. Gelderman and Planetarium Coordinator Ronn Kistler have tested the new system’s capabilities and have added interactive features to engage the audience.

“If you come to a show, you will be encouraged to participate and engage yourself in what’s going on around you,” Dr. Gelderman said.

The latest show, Curiosity: Drilling into Mars’ Past, is launched with a trip through the solar system and then to the inner planets around the Sun. “It’s a view of the solar system we never could have done before,” Dr. Gelderman said. “It’s a pretty incredible experience.”

In addition to using a digital projector, staff at the Hardin Planetarium have added interactive features to engage the audience in planetarium shows. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

In addition to using a digital projector, staff at the Hardin Planetarium have added interactive features to engage the audience in planetarium shows. (WKU photo by Bryan Lemon)

During a reception on April 10, Dr. Gelderman, Kistler and student worker Tyler Scaff demonstrated the new system’s capabilities with both a brief interactive constellation show and a special showing of Origins of Life. Among those participating were WKU President Gary Ransdell, Ogden College of Science and Engineering Dean Cheryl Stevens and several other Ogden College faculty and staff members.

Dr. Keith Andrew, head of the Department of Physics & Astronomy, offered this review of the show: “It was well WOW. The new digital projector adds a new dimension to the capabilities of the planetarium, a vast archive of digital data, everything from stars, planets, constellations, galaxies, black holes and cosmology using data from places such as the Hubble Space Telescope to a wide range of scientific and engaging learning environments using digital delivery of video that includes dinosaurs, planet formation, continental drift, DNA replication and the evolution of life as shown here today,” Dr. Andrew said. “I expect in the next few years a multitude of new and educationally engaging STEM-based learning activities for students and the community — as in the Spring Break Camp of last week — will be developed to immerse participants in a new learning process. It looks great to me. Did I say WOW?”

The Hardin Planetarium, which opened in 1967, is located at State Street and College Heights Boulevard on the WKU campus. Free public shows are offered each week at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday or at 2 p.m. on Sundays. For information, contact the planetarium at (270) 745-4044 or visit http://www.wku.edu/hardinplanetarium/.

Contact: Ronn Kistler or Richard Gelderman, (270) 745-4044.

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
CEBS
CHHS News
Gordon Ford College of Business
Ogden News
PCAL
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
Transportation
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Police
Emergency Preparedness
Facilities
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
DELO News
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WellU
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
7 charter members to be inducted into WKU chapter of SALUTE, national honor society for student veterans

History will be made on Nov. 29 when WKU will get its first chapter of SALUTE, a national honor society for student veterans. Seven charter members will be inducted into SALUTE at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Resource Center, 410 Tate Page Hall.

3 GIS alumni assist in post-hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico

Three alumni from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been assigned to Puerto Rico to assist in post-hurricane recovery efforts.

Former Police Officer Speaks to Entrepreneurship Students
Featured Articles
Former Police Officer Speaks to Entrepreneurship Students
Beta Alpha Psi Earns Superior Chapter Honors
Department Will Be Closed

The Department of Student Financial Assistance will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22nd through Friday, Nov. 25th. The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27th.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 5/2/17