The future is bright for the Wayne State Planetarium
The WSU Planetarium got a major upgrade this month with the installation of a new, high-definition projector system.
The new projector, a Spitz SciDome IQ 2400, replaces an older and well-loved Spitz model installed in 2010. “We maintained and repaired the previous system as long as we could, but it was time for an upgrade,” said WSU Planetarium Director Megan McCullen. “This new system will vastly improve the brightness, longevity and clarity of our projection capabilities.”
The purchase was made possible through a collaborative funding effort which included the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) and a few generous alumni and faculty donors. In addition, a larger community fundraising initiative through the university’s Warrior Funder platform raised more than $20,000 for the projector. Those funds were also matched by an anonymous donor.
McCullen, who joined the university in 2017, says the new system already exceeds her expectations. “I texted a picture to some of our students and they were floored by the quality. Most were amazed at how vivid the projections are — even with the room lights on!”
Before COVID hit, the popularity of the planetarium’s public shows had skyrocketed. In addition, thousands of WSU students studied under the dome each year as part of their physics and astronomy coursework.
“The college’s museums and public learning spaces are an integral part of Midtown’s cultural district,” said CLAS Dean Steffi Hartwell. “The day when we can get K-12 students and the community back on campus can’t come soon enough.”
Despite COVID, the planetarium continues to engage with the public through virtual shows and “Dome from Home” events. Learn more about the WSU Planetarium and find its virtual event schedule at planetarium.wayne.edu.