Sky-Theatre is the star attraction of Planetarium. It comprises 15 metre hemispherical dome on which projection is made. The centralized, air-conditioned theatre has 210 reclining seats with uni-directional viewing arrangement. Shows include history, anecdotes, science facts, cultural aspects, etc that keeps the visitor engaged with the program. The visuals are accompanied by a matching narration and music. This is achieved through a best in class projection and professional audio systems. Unlike cinema theatres, planetariums world over crave to achieve absolute black backdrop for projecting night sky and the Sky-Theatre at Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru does exactly that.
Planetarium uses a hybrid projection technology for fulldome projections. At the center of the Sky-Theatre is one of the most advanced star projectors - ZKP4, designed and manufactured by Carl Zeiss, Germany. ZKP4, an opto-mechanical projector, enables realistic projection of night sky with pin point accuracy of star position for a given place, date and time. The power efficient LED based ZKP4 is also an educational tool that helps in teaching concepts like diurnal and annual motions; simulation of eclipses, observing skies thousands of years into past and future very accurately. With star fields etched accurately on micro-meter scale, light is projected only where required giving a truly dark night sky.
The ZKP4 is coupled with six digital projectors named VELVET which are made by Carl-Zeiss. These projectors blend together to produce a realistic rendering of 4k visuals on dome screen giving an immersive experience to visitors - a feel of being part of the scene. The digital projectors produce no stray light leading to absolute black backdrop in areas where no projection is happening. This gives sharp images on screen enabling an overwhelming starry sky above viewers.
The theatre uses a 5.1 professional surround system for audio. The aesthetic look of theatre incorporates acoustically engineered elements for maximum effectiveness of audio output by the strategically placed speakers.
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.
This mini-dome is available for public/students only on request.
Seating capacity : 40.