Full-Dome Video at Seminole State's Planetarium
The yearlong renovation of the Seminole State Planetarium is complete, and it includes the introduction of full-dome video to many of the shows.
Upgrading to full-dome video offers planetarium patrons an immersive, "you are there" experience during special features, such as "Earth’s Neighborhood" and "Port of Call: Mars."
"We can use full-dome video to fly over the moon," says Planetarium Director Derek Demeter. "We can talk in real time about how the moon goes around the Earth and how gravity affects motion. This will make it look like you're actually in space."
The planetarium uses a Sanyo projector, a spherical mirror and a customized version of Theater Suite, an astronomy program by Software Bisque. Images projected onto the mirror are "warped" onto the dome, and the software corrects any image distortions.
Seminole State's full-dome video system, the first in Central Florida, completes the transformation of the planetarium, which opened in 1987.
In early 2008, all the lighting in the planetarium was switched to energy-efficient LED bulbs. In addition to saving energy, these bulbs also produce brighter, more defined color than standard incandescent bulbs. Crews stripped the wallpaper, repainted the walls and surfaces, and added glow-in-the-dark tape along the aisle floors to help patrons find their way when the planetarium is darkened. The photo-luminescent tape recharges itself without using electricity.