On Saturday, Dec. 9, Liberty Science Center will open the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater, the largest and most technologically advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
But today – one day earlier – students from Jersey City, River Edge, Union City, North Bergen, Neptune, and Staten Island filled the theater seats for an exclusive sneak preview.
Cheers and gasps filled the room as the students soared through the sky, flew to the rings of Saturn, rode a roller coaster through the stars, experienced a high-def recreation of the Orion Nebula, and more.
LSC CEO and President Paul Hoffman introduced the sneak preview, describing the planetarium’s resolution of 88 million pixels, lighting system that can produce over 281 trillion individual colors, and speakers capable of producing 30,000 watts of digital sound.
Also in attendance was Jennifer Chalsty, the New Jersey philanthropist and LSC Board Member who donated $5 million to create the planetarium.
Her gift provided for the conversion of the IMAX Dome Theater from film to digital, the addition of software and hardware necessary for the theater to also function as a planetarium, the replacement of the screen, and the refurbishing of the entire theater.
Another special guest was 9-year-old Jack Davis, LSC’s Kid Science Advisor.
Jack made headlines earlier this year for a letter he sent to NASA, applying for their Planetary Protection Officer position. NASA didn’t immediately offer Jack a job (he’s too young), but LSC was proud to offer him the position.
Following the planetarium show, the students headed out to Governors Hall, where the entire room was filled with astronomical activities and adventures. These activities are part of our “Cosmic Celebration” – a month-long, out-of-this-world celebration we’re throwing to go alongside the planetarium launch.
The students had an amazing day. Now’s your turn. The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater opens Dec. 9. Click here to see our full list of live planetarium shows, films, and laser shows.
Plus, don't miss this excellent video recap from the day's festivities: