Mercury, Venus, Saturn, oh my! There’s a new celestial hot spot on Ohio State’s campus. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State’s planetarium has received a $620,000 face-lift, which included the addition of an HD dome projector, a new dome and a new roof. Located on the fifth floor of Smith Laboratory, the new planetarium is a new must see around Columbus.
The Smith Planetarium has been a part of Ohio State since 1967, however in 2011 the planetarium began showing its age. Consequently, the planetarium was shut down in 2012 for a year to go through a slew of renovations (take a look at the before and after picture!). Before the renovation the planetarium featured shows that put the audience in old, wooden chairs and essentially projected the sky into the dome overhead. With the new renovations and the new advances in technology, the planetarium is able to eliminates light pollution and give the audience a “wow-factor” that the old planetarium was not able to provide.
The renovations included repairs to a leaky roof, a new NanoSeam Projection Dome, and a 5.1 digital surround-sound system. According to The Dispatch, the new planetarium is able to let the audience view a night sky from different locations around the globe, such as the Canada, the North Pole and even Santiago, Chile. The hope for future is that the planetarium will allow the audience to virtually fly around the solar system and land on other planets and their moons. According to the Smith Planetarium’s home page, public programs are typically offered on a two weekends per month basis, and advance reservation of seats are recommended as seats are in high demand after the renovation shut down. The shows are typically offered on Friday’s at 7:00 pm and Saturday afternoons at 2:00pm. The planetarium also offers a shows for groups outside of regular shows.