Immerse yourself in space.
Feel like you’re “part of the action” while watching shows at the William M. Staerkel Planetarium. Our 50-foot dome, the second largest in Illinois, is equipped with the latest in projection and sound technology, offering you an optimal, fulldome viewing experience for entertainment and educational programs.
- Fulldome Projection System: Our Digistar 4 digital projection system, the first installed in the state, is manufactured by Evans & Sutherland. It uses two JVC D-ILA projectors (model DLA-SH7NL) to cover the dome and immerse the audience in video.
- Sky Projector: Our Zeiss M-1015 machine, a model of the universe, projects about 7,600 simulated stars, the Sun, the Moon, and five planets onto the dome. This “map of the sky” was the first of this model to be installed in the world. Catch stunning, realistic views of the heavens as seen from any point on Earth, simulated motions of the planets, and more.
- Lighting: Sixty-four panels of LED dome lighting, installed by East Coast Control Systems, have been programmed for sophisticated chase sequences and to light specific areas, such as for a sunset glow.
- Surround Sound: Our Lexicon Digital Controller audio system, installed by F & G Lighting and Sound in Urbana, features five McCauley speakers mounted behind the dome and subwoofers mounted in the theater wall. Hear more realistic explosions, rocket launches, earthquakes, and more!
- Seating: Comfortable, reclined theatre-style seating for 128 provides the right environment for stargazing at the overhead screen.