New Mexico Space Museum out with IMAX film and starball in with 4K Laser-Phospho

New Mexico Space Museum out with IMAX film and starball in with 4K Laser-Phospho Author Topic: New Mexico Space Museum out with IMAX film and starball in with 4K Laser-Phospho  (Read 634 times)

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Spits is using a single 24KLumens 4K DPI Insight Laser-Phosphor projector in its Sci Dome 4K Laser dome planetarium system.

Space Museum getting 4k Laser
Wayne Neal II, Alamogordo Daily News 5:29 p.m. MDT June 8, 2016

ALAMOGORDO – Imagine traveling five billion light years into space, landing on the surface of Jupiter, or even traveling back to the beginning of time.

Wonder what you’d see?  A galaxy like you’ve never seen before.

This summer the New Mexico Museum of Space History is adding a new feature to their planetarium in hopes of not only boosting revenue but giving visitors a reason to come back.

On July 1 the museum is set to re-open and will be the first theater in the world to have the Spitz Sci Dome 4k Laser Full dome planetarium system. This is the first time a 4K laser system is being used for a domed projection system.

Spitz Sci Dome planetariums are designed to be engaging, interactive,full domeclassrooms. Powered by Starry Night and The Layered Earth, Sci Dome brings real-time space and earth science into the dome’s unique teaching environment. Immerse students in Sci Dome's interactive visual universe, and explore Earth’s 3D topography and layers in spectacular detail, according to Spitzinc.com.

Spitz, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of dome projection screens with over 2,000 installations on six continents.

They have contracted with clients such as The Griffith Observatory, Disney, IMAX, Zeiss, Universal Studios and The Adler Planetarium.

Museum Executive Director Chris Orwoll said the installation will take up to two weeks for completion which started June 7. Along with the laser system the theater is being renamed the New Horizons Dome Theater and Planetarium.

“This incredibly versatile system will allow us to accomplish top quality projection of both large format films and planetarium features with a single system,” Orwoll said about some of the interactive features on the projection system.  “In addition, it has the ability for our educators to interact with the planetarium programs using live teaching and a myriad of astronomy and earth science programs that will revolutionize the way that we connect with our audiences.”

The theater has been closed since May 16.

Nearly three decades have gone by since the original projectors were put in. That system was severely outdated and the wet film it used isnearly extinct.  The new system will replace the existing IMAX projector and the old star ball.

The laser projection system will be both educational and interactive for visitors, Orwoll said.

“I can take you five billion light years out into space and put you out there where you’re looking at the stars completely differently. I can fly you over the surface of mars. You can do just about anything,” he said “It can take you back historically as far as they project the stars. Before humans walked the earth we can look at what the night sky was like back then.”

So far the museum has been using the state’s grant money, but once renovations are complete, Orwoll says, the city’s money will be used up as well.

“We used the state’s money to buy the projection system,” he said. “The projection system will start to dig into the city’s money when we finalize it.”

The idea to improve the planetarium and give better quality experience to visitors came up about three years ago, Orwoll said.

“We brought it up both to the state and the city,” he said. “We actually got the funding from the city first and then we got funding from the state that more than matched”

The City of Alamogordo and the State Legislature helped with funding. The city approved a $300,000 grant to upgrade the theater projection system, with the condition that the state would match those funds.

“We got 300,00 from the city and $500,00 from the state,” he added.

Orwoll says they will show Journey to Space when they re-open. They will show that three times a day followed by planetarium movies and space shows.

Before Orwoll took over as division director in 2012 the museum was in a steady decline since 1990. Since Orwoll took over in 2012 the museum has been steadily increasing in both revenue and visitation.

But even with the increases the museum still has trouble attracting Alamogordo residents.

“Right now 80 percent of the visitors come from out of state,” Orwoll said. “People from in town is less than five percent of visitation.”

Along with the new laser projection system Orwoll plans on renovating the whole museum. This is just a huge first step, he said. He hopes with every renovation visitation will start to slowly increase among residents, but they still have a long way to go, Orwoll said.

“We’ve been doing improvements for the last couple of years, so this is just another step in that process,” he said. “It’s a 10-15-year project and we’re in the first couple of years in it. We’ve just started there’s a lot more to come.”

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