A central projector, 8m diagonal screen and the Dolby-Stereo 5.1. Add comfortable beach chairs. If you want to test capabilities of a new projector dome in the orrery of the Institute for Astronomy, you can do it the incoming Saturday. For free.
The Institute for Astronomy of the Wrocław University invites you to take part in a free of charge pre-release shows in the new dome, on Saturday, 15th September (15.00 to 18.00), and during the Lower Silesia Festival of Science, 21st and 22nd September. During 20 minute shows there will be displayed astronomy related movies.
Shows start every half an hour. Since the movie theater is designed for 30 persons only, organizers ask visitors waiting for free seats for patience and understanding. And it’s worth waiting for.
Our orrery invites everyone to take part in a trip deep into the Universe, to look for the dark matter, to observe galaxies and to orbit around a dark hole – says prof. Paweł Rudawy from the Institute for Astronomy. – We are also going to show beauty of planets of the Solar System, their moons, our sun and its activity. We will also learn about the history of growth of the observation methods and haunting for the Higgs boson.
– The new screening room starts a new chapter of operation of the Wrocław University orrery – says prof. Rudawy. – The diagonal of the new screen equals 8m which is two times more compared to the previous one. Our spectators will watch the show in comfortable beach chairs beneath horizontally oriented screen dome that is in the same way as in typical, classical orreries in Toruń, Chorzów or in Frombork. They will be surrounded by the movie. The central projector is equipped with the fish-eye leas and the Dolby-Stereo 5.1. Displayed picture is incredibly stunning, full of contrast and colors, while high quality sound enhances comments and music supplementing the visual experiences.
Just the structure of the semi-spherical screen is interesting since it is supported by the … air. Special pump reduces the pressure in the space between the outside layer of the orrery and the screen, and hence, the normal air pressure in the screening room raises and blows up the screen. This solution makes that spectators can hear the noise caused by the operating pump, however, it is not arduous. It is similar to the noise heard by passengers quickly driving a car.
After the first, test screenings the new projection dome of the Institute for Astronomy, on 17 September, will be made available for students in the framework of traditional shows, lessons and lectures for schools. Wrocław inhabitants will have a chance to take benefits from it soon. At the beginning, every two weeks. If the interest in the shows appears to be extensive, they will take place every week.
– Because of the size and the complexity rate of the structure, it is a stationary object. Unfortunately, since there is no heating system it is a seasonal object – says prof. Rudawy. – Perhaps it will be possible to assure required conditions even during the winter season.
Prof. Rudawy emphasizes that the new screening room is also a temporary solution intended to partially supplement the gap in the system of education and science promotion in Wrocław caused by lack of a municipal orrery.
– We may demonstrate to the city authorities and regional ones that a regular, modern and large orrery is a necessary educational object – says prof. Rudawy.
Wrocław astronomers have striven for erection of the orrery in the capital city of the Lower Silesia for a few dozens of years. Although numerous promises and declarations have been made, until now their efforts are ineffective.
The new and temporary projection dome will be opened due to mutual undertaking of the Institute for Astronomy and the „Bajkonur” Company of Mr. Tomasz Lewicki, a graduate from the Faculty of Astronomy of the Wrocław University, who uses a mobile orrery for years to give educational shows in schools. A permit to erect the dome in the area of the Institute for Astronomy, which has to meet requirements stipulated in the conservation area policy, will be valid by 15th December.
– We hope that because of the exceptional educational value of the object and great fitting of it to the buildings of the Institute we can get an extended permit – says prof. Rudawy.