The Planetarium at Granite Gap
A planetarium is one of the most exciting, immersive, and just plain fun environments on the planet. It possesses the ability to surround people with the sky, bringing them close to the stars through original programming, special effects, and superior audio. The planetarium was the original “immersive environment” when the first facility premiered in Munich, Germany in 1923.
The planetarium at Granite Gap will function as a science center for the southwestern New Mexico/southeastern Arizona region. Although the primary emphasis is astronomy, programs will feature many other regional topics such as geology, birding, Native American folklore, mining, and more.
Visitors will experience educational and entertaining programs and high-quality exhibits, which will require no prior scientific background. In a short period of time, the planetarium will become a regional focal point, a source of pride, learning, and fun. As such, it must be a colorful and active space, easy to get around in, that transcends visitors’ expectations.
The planetarium will welcome visitors of all ages and interest groups. The two main divisions will be tourists and families (on a walk-in basis) and school and community groups (by reservation). Early each year, many visitors to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show will experience entertaining geology-based shows when they stop at Granite Gap to see the John H. Eicher Mineral Museum.
The planetarium at Granite Gap also will host a world-class astronomy library specializing in 19th-century historical science. This research center will cater to astronomers, science writers, and journalists.
The Planetarium at Granite Gap — features:
• A high-resolution digital projector capable of reproducing the night sky and full-color images or videos at any location on the hemispherical dome.
• A 360-degree surround-sound system to envelop visitors in high-quality audio.
• An immersive, “true-dark” virtual setting in which visitors will experience environments across Earth, space travel, and even time travel.
• Programs about astronomical topics ranging from what’s in the night sky to why Pluto should still be a planet to how the universe began.
• Programs about other subjects as diverse as New Mexico mineralogy, solar energy, the history of the Old West, and the technology involved in copper mining.
• Interactive, state-of-the-art astronomy exhibits on the births and deaths of stars, why meteorites are important, Hubble Space Telescope discoveries, and lots more.