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© 2019 Door Peninsula Astronomical Society

Digitalis Planetarium

The planetarium is manufactured by Digitalis
Inflatable Domes and is designed for astronomy
education. Setup and tear down is less than 10 minutes,
the fan is whisper-quiet (advertised) and the zippered
doorway is very handy. Our model is 5 meters ( ~ 16 ft.) in
diameter with a height at zenith of 3.2 meters ( ~ 10.5 ft.).
Safety is big because many school children will see
astronomy shows inside. The dome is flame retardant to a
rigorous standard, air circulation is constant and the
floorless design enables fast emergency exits. Likewise,
just lift the side for wheelchair access. The projector is a
Digitarium Kappa Portable 2 Digital Planetarium System
by Digitalis. With 5000 lumens illuminating 180o of full sky and a resolution of 2.01 megapixels (about 9 pixels per
degree of sky), the Portable 2 is an amazing tool to show
awesome video shows, scientific visualizations and high-
contrast star fields. Software developed by Digitalis
Education, Nightshade, runs “... simulations and
visualizations for teaching and exploring astronomy, Earth
science and related topics.” [digitaliseducation.com].
Controlled via iPad, the software has many features that
produce immersive hemispherical visual experiences:
physically based rendering of planets, realistic
atmospheres, a sky engine that can zoom in anywhere the
see telescope imagery from the Digital Sky Survey, guided
flights through the solar system and our Milky Way galaxy,
shadow visualizations, an extensive visual media browser
and more.

-- Written by Tom Minahan