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Liberty Science Center Opens Massive New Planetarium


The Group Travel Leader
Published February 01, 2018

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey — The Liberty Science Center debuted its new planetarium in early December, which it proclaims as the largest and most technologically advanced in the Western Hemisphere.

“You can fit any other planetarium in the Western Hemisphere inside the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium,” said Liberty Science Center president and CEO Paul Hoffman, who noted its diameter is almost twice as long as a bowling alley lane and its screen is taller than four giraffes.

A $5 million gift from New Jersey philanthropist Jennifer Chalsty provided for the conversion of the center’s IMAX Dome Theater from film to digital, the addition of software and hardware necessary for the theater to also function as a planetarium, the replacement of the screen and the refurbishing of the entire theater.

The planetarium’s dome is 89 feet in diameter and 60 feet tall at its top, with a surface area of 12,345 square feet — the size of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom house according to science center officials.

The 10-projector system features an 8K resolution of 88 million pixels, while a lighting system can produce more than 281 trillion individual colors, and the sophisticated software allows for downloads of the latest animations and images from NASA.

Liberty Science Center is in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty. It has 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, aquariums, a 3D theater and a tornado-force wind simulator.