HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Call it your cosmic spyglass right here in Huntsville.
After three years of planning, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center unveiled its new, state-of-the-art planetarium on Thursday. They describe it as a world-class investment on the galactic scale.
The old IMAX theater has been completely redone into a massive 8K screen and will seat 250 people.
A local company helped get this off the ground. INTUITIVE made a lasting investment, as they describe, in the full-dome astronomy center.
Deborah Barnhart, director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, said she toured the world and went to the best planetariums and says this one gives them a run for their money.\“We think it’s important to gather under the stars in the evenings, as well as the daytime, because that, for generations, has been where we came to socialize with one another, to learn, to pass down our culture to one another. So this is not only going to be a planetarium and an 8K digital theater, this is going to be a venue for performances, for theater, for music, for plays, for speakers, for all kinds of reasons to come together and education one another,” Barnhart said.
It will feature showings from around the world as well as live broadcasts of missions.
They’re going to teach classes right outside the auditorium because, at its core, this is an educational venue.
They also have a number of other upcoming events,like Date Night in the Dome and Cocktails and Cosmos.
“I hope to be able to convey to the general public, meaning people who are 3 years old up to 103 and everyone in between, whether you have a kindergarten degree or a Ph.D. in astronomy, I hope to share my enthusiasm for the universe and teach people something that they didn’t know," said planetarium director David Weigel. “I want to sort of highlight the wonders of the universe and get them excited about what current discoveries are being made and what current missions are being run, especially out of the Huntsville area.”
The theater will be open daily. Check its website for the latest showings.