About the planetarium
Thanks to its equipment, quality of shows and design, the Heavens of Copernicus is one of the most modern and original planetariums in Europe. It offers sky displays, film projections, lectures and meetings.
The building, located just next to Vistula, resembles an enormous boulder. Its interior conceals the projection room with a spherical screen with a diameter of 16 meters, which weighs about 3 tons and is suspended over the audience by gigantic chains.
The room is equipped with 139 comfortable chairs arranged in a way that enables the viewers to conveniently look at the sky. The shows are displayed by four digital projectors and the Megastar IIa star projector that displays 16 million points of light, i.e. stars.
The Planetarium the Heavens of Copernicus has its own production studio that creates shows displayed on the screen in the shape of a hemisphere.
The Heavens of Copernicus is the planetarium of the Copernicus Science Centre. It has been operational since 2011.
What is the Heavens of Copernicus Planetarium?
The Planetarium, covered with a dome with a radius of sixteen meters, allows the viewers to find themselves in the remotest corners of space, descend into the depths of a volcano and go back to the beginnings of life on Earth. Thanks to modern multimedia technologies used here, participants of the sessions get the impression of immersion in the observed worlds that are inaccessible on a daily basis. Animals living in the ocean depths, microorganisms invisible to the naked eye, creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago – all of them will suddenly be right at your fingertips.
When lying down on the seats in the Heavens of Copernicus, some people expect that the dome above them will open and they will be able to watch the real sky over their heads. Fortunately, that is not true! For what can be seen at night over the Copernicus Science Centre is an astronomical disgrace. Stars in town disappear in the light of street lamps, neon lights, and car headlights. The Planetarium offers a much better solution.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The heart of the Planetarium is the Megastar star projector, created exclusively for the Copernicus Science Centre by Ohira Tech (Japan). It displays 16 million stars, and it is one of the most modern projectors of this type in the world. With its 32 lenses, it shows stars very authentically. Each lens contains a plate with the image of the relevant fragment of the sky. Moreover, there is a set of four digital projectors. For some shows, a system of RGB lasers with a capacity of 1,5 W each may be used.
This modern system allows for an extremely faithful representation of the night sky, such as can only be seen today from the darkest places on the Earth. With a enormous database of astronomical objects, their positions and properties, it is also possible to travel around the solar system, watch space vehicles, planets and their moons from close distances, and to travel to other stars and planetary systems.
This is complemented by six speakers of great power, and an additional speaker (so-called speaker at the zenith) located in the centre of the dome, above the heads of the audience. All these devices form the so-called hybrid Digital Sky projection system, supplied to the Heavens of Copernicus by Sky-Skan Europe.
Outside the dome, on the right, you can see the server room with ten computing units that continuously generate the projected image. Such a large computational power is essential to ensure that the obtained high-definition image is smooth.