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Details about the Planetarium

"The Astronomer" Official Video Oh, The Story! a YouTube video. The words, libretto to the song "The Astronomer." The planetarium is open from Monday, August 21, 2017, until Friday, May 18, 2018.  There are exceptions though like Summer Planetarium Programs. This is an academic institution so there are a few holidays like around Thanksgiving and from Christmas to new year's day and Spring break March 12-18, 2018 for faculty and students; planetarium closed only on Thursday & Friday, March 15 &16, 2018.  All evening planetarium programs include a star party after the show, if it is clear.  Star party means we look at the sky with telescopes.  We have a 13 inch (33.02cm) Dobsonian, and 3 1/2  inch (8.89cm) Questar telescopes that we bring outside the planetarium when clear. All minors coming to the planetarium for public programs or grade specific school programs must be accompanied by their teachers, or a parent or guardian. In April of 2016 the planetarium was improved.  A new projector a Spitz Scidome XD replaced the ancient Spitz 512, opto-mechanical projector which only showed 1,864 stars maximum; now we have almost no limit, effectively millions and millions not quite billion and billions.  We can now show stars, nebulae, and galaxies from anywhere in the universe not just from the planet earth.  We can show stars locally 100,000 years in the past or future using Starry Night with the new projector.  We can further show the planet Earth and put data on it using a full dome projection using Layer Earth, so geology, geography, atmospheric science (including climate change) can be faithfully shown. We can show full dome video on the 24 foot dome. We have started production of full dome video as well as have the ability to show full dome video produced by other planetriums and science museums world wide. SciDome sizzle reel demonstration. We have a large video monitor at eye level in the planetarium that is capable of not only 2D PowerPoint and Keynote and YouTube, but capable of showing 3D movies with pass circularly polarized glasses worn by the audience when appropriate. We have already produced many 3D short educational videos in astronomy and biology and geology as well as filmed Maker Fairs in downtown Silver Spring, and lectures at the American Center of Physics all in glorious 3D, thanks to Rupert Chappelle. The College also replaced the imoveable chairs on an ugly carpet with movable chairs on a beautiful floor so we can now do group work and reconfigure seating.  We can seat small children on blankets on the floor while adults and older children can sit in chairs. You can not do group work when you can only see the back of your neighbors head.  The new projector can be moved into a larger planetarium dome when the new science center is built at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus in a few years into a 50 foot dome.  The college was very responsible in planning ahead and spending money on the current improved and planned future larger planetarium! If you would like the planetarium projector or the current domed theather room named after your company or family member please speak to the Montgomery College foundation.
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Last edited 5:58PM on April 26, 2018 by Dr. Harold Alden Williams