Prague Planetarium gets upgrade

Two halls in the planetarium now have high resolution projectors

The Starvid Hall in the Prague Planetarium in Stromovka has been renovated. It has a new Kč 4 million projection system with a resolution of 8 million pixels, almost four times what it was previously. The room will offer programs to the public in addition to those in the main Cosmorama Hall, which was modernized in 2014 at a cost of Kč 30 million.

Maintenance costs have been reduced since the systems in both rooms are compatible and use interchangeable parts. Both digital projection systems are SkySkan Definiti models using Sony projectors.

The Starvid Hall originally had a projection system from 2005 but it was outdated almost as soon at it was introduced. It used two projectors to create an image that almost always looked like a composite, and the resolution was poor.

A new cooling system was also installed in the room, and there is now a mobile table for live demonstrations.

The Starvid Room can be rented for private functions such as corporate presentations and product demonstrations. It has 94 seats and the back area can be used for banquets.

In 2014 the main Cosmorama Hall had four new video SkySkan Definiti projectors installed and was upgraded from a resolution of 16 million pixels to 64 million. The previous video projectors were from 1991. The blue Cosmorama star projector was also adjusted to lower it out of the way of the new video projectors and to put it on an articulated armature, making it the only one of its kind in the world. Berlin had a similar star projector, but dismantled it in 2014. The Cosmorama star projector was installed in 1991 and was built by Carl Zeiss AG.

The planetarium dome has a diameter of 23.5 meters, making it one of the largest in the world.

The planetarium offers several programs in the main hall with English translation over headphones.

The Prague Planetarium is subsidized by the city of Prague and offers programs for the public and schools. It opened Nov. 20, 1960, and has some 100,000 visitors per year.

In addition to the planetarium, which shows projections of stars, the city has two observatories with telescopes that are open to the public, Štefánik Observatory on Petřín hill and Ďáblice Observatory at the edge of the city in Ďáblice, where the city lights are less of an obstruction. The Astronomical Tower in the Klementinum is also open to the public and offers a good view of the city, but it is only of historical interest as it is no longer used for astronomy.

Prague Planetarium www.planetarium.cz

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