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Museum of Science takes viewers to infinity and beyond

February 14, 2011

Published by Metro

Bostonians can now travel the universe faster than the speed of light, thanks to the most advanced digital-theater equipment in New England. The Museum of Science reopened its Charles Hayden Planetarium yesterday after a yearlong, $9 million renovation.

“It’s a colossal day in so many ways,” planetarium director David Rabkin said.  “We are stepping forward into the 21st century.”

The state-of-the-art optics system can project 9,100 clear, flickering stars, and move back and forward through time 10,000 years. The planetarium’s new database presents views from anywhere on Earth, simulates space travel and explores climate change.

“It felt really special to be here on the first day,” Dave McLellan of Sudbury said. “The drama of the 3-D images are striking. The sound system is great.”

The planetarium also premiered “Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun” yesterday. With sweeping celestial imagery, “Undiscovered Worlds” illustrates the latest discoveries in the search for other living worlds.

“Just in the last 20 years we have found that space goes on forever,” MIT Professor Alan Lightman said. Just recently we have begun to discover planets outside our solar system.

“We wanted to emphasize scientific accuracy. And also convey the grandeur of science.”

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