Skip to main content
Skip to main content

Ogden 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
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.

WKU fundraising unit changes name, announces award, recognizes gift

On National Philanthropy Day, WKU’s Division of Development & Alumni Relations was rebranded as Philanthropy & Alumni Engagement; Laura Turner Dugas was named the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year; and a gift for diversity initiatives was announced.

Featured Articles
WKU Forensics Team wins debate tournaments at Illinois State

WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.

WKU GEO Faculty/Staff/Students Attend Two National Conferences

Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.

Statue of Rep. Jody Richards unveiled on campus

A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.

Empower.Connect.Serve

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 3/6/17