Star gazing to be more amazing at planetarium

Star gazing to be more amazing at planetarium

The renovated sky theatre at the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium was inaugurated on Tuesday by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

The theatre, which used to attract over 2.5 lakh visitors annually, was closed for renovation in March 2016. The Rs 12-crore project involved replacing the opto-mechanical projector in the theatre with the imported hybrid projection system made by a German company, Carl Zeiss.

Speaking at the event, Siddaramaiah said, “These days, fewer students are taking up pure science. They prefer to pursue fields like engineering and medicine.”

State Science and Technology Minister M R Seetharam appreciated the government for encouraging the ministry’s projects. “The government has approved two projects – one is an 18m diameter dome worth Rs 35 crore in Mangaluru and another 15m diameter dome worth Rs 22 crore in Hubballi. Construction of these domes has already begun,” Seetharam said. The chief minister added that there is a proposal to construct two mini-planetariums in Bagalkot and Vijayapura.

Director of the planetarium Dr B S Shylaja, Prof U R Rao, chairman of the governing council of the planetarium and Dr Martin Wiechmann of Carl Zeiss were also present at the inauguration.

After the theatre was declared open, an inaugural show in Kannada gave guests an experience of the new technology. The audience gasped as they glided through constellations, took a close look at the sun and black holes in space. Mamatha, a Class VIII student from BBMP Girls School in Shivajinagar exclaimed, “It was like we were sitting in a flight and going to space. I felt like the planets were coming towards me.”  

The theatre will be open to public from Thursday with no change in the entry fee, which is Rs 35 for adults and Rs 20 for children. The prices may be revised in the new financial year.

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