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Planetarium

UW Planetarium

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Welcome to the UW campus planetarium

Star Ball

In this site you will find information on times and dates the planetarium is open, connections to school activities to do before and after your visit, and information about this volunteer outreach effort.

Planetarium maintenance news is available! Click here for more information.

Daytime Group Visits

We welcome school groups studying astronomy, public groups (astronomy clubs, scouts, etc), and on-campus groups to visit the planetarium on Fridays during the regular University school year.

For more information, click the Group Visits tab on the left.

UW Planetarium in the news

March 2011: Perspectives article about the completed digital upgrade.

December 2010: TechWeek preview of the nearly complete upgrade.

January 2009: Planetarium featured in the UW Daily

About our planetarium

Built with the new building in 1994, the 30 foot diameter dome of the UW planetarium provides a unique space in which students can explore the night sky. The original building included a Minolta MS-8 starball. The starball is a precisely constructed optical/mechanical system that projects an accurate picture of the night sky as viewed from anywhere on earth.

In 2005, a grad-student led UW Student Tech Fee proposal provided $90,000 worth of new audio and video equipment to allow for more dynamic planetarium presentations.

In 2009, we began working with Microsoft's World Wide Telescope team to upgrade the planetarium to a fully digital dome system. Completed in early 2011, this upgrade transformed the dome into an 8-million pixel digital display. When combined with the World-Wide telescope interface, this allows for a truly interactive and immersive planetarium experience.

Technical details about the digital upgrade can be found in this preprint.

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