Birla Planetarium’s latest facilities enthrall visitors

Chennai: When was the last time you saw a star-studded sky? If you cannot remember, it is probably time you visit the B M Birla Planetarium, Tamilnadu Science and Technology Centre in Gandhi Mandapam.

The two new facilities: Hybrid- Digital Planetarium and ‘Science on a Sphere’, were recently inaugurated by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.

The two state-of-the-art facilities are the results of one-year of work by the centre staff, it is said.

Tamilnadu Science and Technology Centre Executive Director S Soundararajaperumal spoke to News Today about the projects.

“It was massive work. For a year, the team worked seven days of the week. The equipment is imported from Germany and the dome is from USA. It was a huge responsibility of getting them safely here. At the Hybrid- Digital Planetarium, at a time, 210 people can see the show which is about outer space. The footfalls are steadily increasing, but we want more students to visit, as this is the best way to learn about the world beyond,” he says.

“The planetarium has been built at a cost of Rs 10 crore, while the Science on a Sphere cost Rs 2.5 crore,” he adds.

As for the Hybrid Planetarium, it is the new generation in planetarium system, where the star lit sky is projected by opto-mechanical projectors with full dome digital video systems, bringing dynamic images to the dome such as motion of stars, space flight, planets, nebulae, galaxies and other astronomical images.

On the other hand, Science on a Sphere, uses computers and video projectors to display dynamic, animated images of the atmosphere, oceans and land on an illuminated sphere six feet in diameter.

Children can learn about deep-sea vent locations, Dengue risk assessment, drought risk, earthquakes and eruptions, air traffic, rainfall, rising sea and solar system, with the help of these, the staff stated.

Naomi N