Strasenburgh Planetarium shows off new technology ahead of grand reopening

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. - The Strasenburgh Planetarium will reopen its doors Saturday, but it's showing off some of its new technology a little early.

Among the changes to the venue is the addition of the Digistar 6 system, which the Rochester Museum and Science Center says will give visitors an experience that they've never had before at the planetarium.

"What we’ve done is taken this 50-year-old technology, figured out a way to project images, based on data, onto our screen, onto our dome planetarium," explained Rochester Museum and Science Center President and CEO Hillary Olson.

"We are able to be in this immersive environment," she continued, "but you can zoom all the way into Saturn, you can look at the moon, you can hover over outer space in any one of a number of ways, so it’s not just the pinpricks of light you were seeing with the original 1968 technology."

The technology allows visitors to see Earth in real-time.

The planetarium promises to have at least 20 shows a week.

Some visitors had expressed concern about the venue's old technology, specifically "Carl," the planetarium's old star projector.

The planetarium promises "Carl" isn't going anywhere; it will make a brief appearance at every show.

"We have respected the past, especially in the architectural part of the renovation here," explained planetarium director Steve Fentress, "but we have plunged into the future that people have asked us to do."

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