Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru reopens after its temporary closure for renovation in March, 2016. During this ten-month gestation period, the planetarium has undergone changes in several areas of its infrastructure that make a visit to the planetarium a more joyful and stimulating experience.
The opto-mechanical projection system by Carl Zeiss, Jena, Germany, our workhorse for twenty-seven years has been replaced by a state-of-the-art Hybrid Projection system. The new opto-mechanical projector called ZKP4, much smaller than but more efficient than its predecessor, is neatly coupled to a bank of six digital, velvet projectors. Now, your planetarium shows will draw advantages of both digital as well as opto-mechanical systems. This is what makes the current projection system a Hybrid one.
Owing to the requirement of the new system, seats have an inclined back-rest to make the programme more comfortable to watch. And, the arrangement of seats is uni-directional instead of the concentric circular arrangement that we previously had.
The wall paneling has made way for new design that improves the acoustics of the theatre while retaining the aesthetics.
We have now introduced 5.1 surround sound system to bring a new dimension to the acoustic experience that enhances the impact of the visuals.
The visuals are projected on to the dome through both opto-mechanical and digital projectors, which provide an immersive experience – a feel of being part of the scene!
The fulldome visuals at 4K resolution and surround sound take our planetarium show experience to an altogether different, higher plane.
A Mini-dome Theatre : The mirrordome projection system that became redundant was put to good use by refurbishing one of the existing lecture halls into a 40-seater capacity, digital skytheatre. The dome was specially fabricated and the room air conditioned. Public and school children who turned up at the planetarium during the renovation period were shown digital sky shows. We propose to use this mini-dome facility to impart astronomy education in all our academic programmes.