press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
For the next nine months, one of Kolkata’s most famous landmarks and the oldest planetarium in Asia, the Birla Planetarium, will remain out of bounds for visitors.
After nearly five decades and 80,000 hours of operation, the opto-mechanical projector, made by Carl Zeiss, a German manufacturer of optical systems, which captivated about 30 million visitors, is making way for a new generation of projectors.
The planetarium, a dome-sized circular structure resembling the Buddhist Stupa, started its half-hour shows dealing with different aspects of the solar system, stars in the night sky, different constellations and cosmic events such as eclipse in 1962. Its popularity grew with every passing year and by 2014 it had received more than 6.5 lakh visitors in a year.
“We will replace the existing projector with a hybrid projection system involving a more advanced opto-mechanical projector and nine other advanced digital projectors which will run in tandem with each other. The idea is to give an immersive experience to the people and they can feel transported to the cosmic environment of space,” Debiprosad Duari, Director, Research and Academic, of M.P. Birla Institute of Fundamental Research told The Hindu.
Explaining the reasons for bringing in new technology, Dr. Duari said the idea of the universe and how people visualised it had undergone a complete change, and it was necessary to keep pace with changing times.
The new technology will come at a cost of Rs. 30 crore.
From : The Hindu