The Thomas Planetarium offers a fascinating, enjoyable way to learn about astronomy and space. The new, 530-square-foot facility lets visitors journey to the stars, taking trips through the solar system or joining in the Imaginarium's presentations that explore the night sky.
This multipurpose space is used for a wide variety of education programs and films featuring breathtaking images and immersing the audience in surround sound. Planned programming includes films about astronomy, the solar system and Earth's atmosphere, as well as laser light shows and interactive demonstrations.
Named for museum benefactors Lowell and Tay Thomas, the new $1.96 million planetarium features a state-of-the-art Digistar 3 projector manufactured by Evans & Sutherland Corporation, the world's first computer graphics company. Using powerful graphics hardware and software to generate immersive images on the interior surface of a dome, Digistar 3 integrates all-dome video, real-time 3-D computer graphics and a complete digital astronomy package. The projection surface is a 180-degree, spherical perforated aluminum projection dome that is 24 feet in diameter.
The planetarium seats 48 and is accessible to people with disabilities. It is open during regular museum hours with occasional evening events. Admission fees are determined based on programming.