TJC science center features new space exhibit, digital projection system

On Saturday, Oct. 5, TJC’s Earth and Space Science Center featuring Hudnall Planetarium will debut a new exhibit about space – plus a new and improved way of looking at the stars in its dome theater.

Each year, the center serves more than 32,000 visitors and hosts field trips for more than 175 schools ranging from preschool through high school.

‘Outreach to Space’ exhibit
The new, hands-on exhibit, “Outreach to Space,” offers visitors a range of challenges to learn about outer space, what is out there, how to get there, what life is like in space, and what the future holds for space exploration.

“These exhibits are professionally designed and expertly made, built by the world-famous Exploratorium in San Francisco,” said Dr. Beau Hartweg, TJC science center director. “It’s a great way for our visitors to experiment with all the different aspects of space research.”

Exhibit modules include practical lessons on gravity, energy, the constellations, protective gear and space stations and vehicles.

Dome theater features Digitarium Aethos projection system
The center recently upgraded from Digistar4 to the Digitarium Aethos system, which uses 4K laser projection technology to create vibrant, immersive experiences in the 40-foot Hudnall Planetarium.

Nightshade NG software allows for displaying high-resolution imagery of earth, the night sky, solar system, and deep space beyond our galaxy.

“We’re proud to be the first science center in the state to have this system,” Hartweg said. “The first Digitarium Aethos system was installed in Eugene, Oregon, last year, so we are only the second center in the country to have it.”

Dome shows play throughout the day on a rotating schedule:

• Tuesdays-Fridays
10 a.m. – Children’s Show
11 a.m. – Journey Through Space Live
Noon – Dream Big
1 p.m. – Dark Matter Mystery (new for 2019)
2 p.m. – From Earth to the Universe
3 p.m. – Live Sky Tonight
4 p.m. – Mayan Ancient Astronomy

• Saturdays
11 a.m. – Journey Through Space Live
Noon – Dream Big
1 p.m. – Dark Matter Mystery (new for 2019)
2 p.m. – From Earth to the Universe
3 p.m. – Live Sky Tonight
4 p.m. – Mayan Ancient Astronomy

For tickets, go to sciencecenter.tjc.edu.

science center logo

 

About the science center
Taking a cue from its humble beginnings in the 1960s, the center is now known as the TJC Earth and Space Science Center featuring Hudnall Planetarium.

From 1963 to 2010, TJC’s Hudnall Planetarium introduced countless East Texas schoolchildren to science and space. When the lights dimmed, all eyes turned skyward, and imaginations were sparked as the mysteries of the universe unfolded.

Following a massive expansion and reconstruction, the facility reopened in 2011 as the Center for Earth & Space Science Education at TJC and featured a 40-foot dome theater equipped with Digistar 4, then the latest in digital projection technology.

The original planetarium was converted into an interactive area for visitors to enjoy ever-changing exhibits and plasma-screen displays with real-time video from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

The center also includes an instructional/workshop space and a series of outdoor, educational plazas, including a 15-foot diameter, granite sundial.

Times and tickets
Located at 1411 E. Lake St., on the TJC main campus, the center is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Fridays and 10:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Tickets are $5 for children, seniors and students and $7 for adults. Parking is free.

Open to the public for shows, stargazing events, field trips, and special events, the center reflects TJC’s commitment to quality education, a vibrant student life and service through educational engagement with the community.

For tickets and show times, go to sciencecenter.tjc.edu.

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