The sky’s the limit at the Liberty Science Center where the Jersey City-based educational center celebrates the opening of the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, the largest and most technologically-advanced planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, on Saturday, Dec. 9.
LSC board member Jennifer Chalsty donated $5 million to see the eponymous state-of-the-art space come to fruition. The New Jersey philanthropist’s gift funded the conversion of the IMAX Dome Theater from film to digital as well as the addition of the necessary software and hardware that transformed the newly-refurbished theater into a planetarium, which is only out-paced in size by three others in the world: Beijing, China, and Nagoya and Niihama, Japan.
Not only does the planetarium hold universal appeal for aspiring astronomers, as Paul Hoffman, LSC’s President and CEO, pointed out in a press release, it offers unparalleled learning opportunities for school groups, families, and adults in the region at the same time it will attract tourists to Jersey City.
LSC shared some interesting facts about its new addition that put the scope of this project in perspective:
- With dome that has a diameter of approximately 89 feet or 27 meters. In other words, if you drew a straight line from one end of the dome to the other, it would be 1.5 times the length of a bowling alley lane.
- From the top of the dome screen to the bottom of the theater is 60 feet, the same height as four giraffes.
Upcoming live shows, starting Saturday, Dec. 9, include:
Wonders of the Universe
LSC’s all-live signature show, Wonders of the Universe, is a thrilling 45-minute experience that explores the night sky and beyond.
To Worlds Beyond: Journey Through the Solar System + Live Show
Experience an enlightening 30-minute, full-dome movie, followed by an interactive live presentation. In To Worlds Beyond, you’ll tour the planets of our solar system – a tour that incorporates the latest information about the solar system as gathered by a fleet of robot probes.You’ll “travel from the hellacious surface of Venus, to the vast mountains and canyons of Mars, to the spewing methane geysers of Neptune’s giant moon Triton,” according to LSC’s website. Then, following the film, a live presenter will show the audience where the planets are in the night sky that very evening.
In the spirit of the holiday season, LSC presents:
Brace for a blizzard of exhilarating laser images set to holiday and winter-themed songs in this family-friendly, 40-minute laser spectacle, which sets holiday classics by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Eurythmics, the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and more in time with lasers.
For more information, visit LSC’s website or call 201-200-1000.