National capital’s Nehru Planetarium to get major revamp

Last Updated: Sunday, April 4, 2010 - 10:05

New Delhi: The Nehru Planetarium here, a
loved destination of students and amateur astronomers, is all
set to get a major revamp ahead of the Commonwealth Games with
latest technology equipment and digital devices.

The planetarium`s projector, dating back to the early
1980s, will be replaced with a modern one and new digital
devices will enhance the programming of the public shows.

The planetarium, which was closed down for the public on
April 1 for the ongoing renovation, will in all likelihood be
ready in a six-month period, just ahead of the Commonwealth
Games when a stream of tourists will descend upon the capital.

"By the end of September, that is just in time for the
Commonwealth Games, we will get a revamped and new
Planetarium, such that once it`s ready you will not recognise
it," Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML)
Prof Mridula Mukherjee said.

Besides the technological advances that will be
introduced, the whole building will be given a new look, and
everything from the office space to the air conditioning will
be redone, Mukherjee said.

"We are replacing our old projector, which had become
quite ancient. It will give us a completely new picture and
will also be able to show a number of new programmes from all
over, apart from the stars and astronomical objects," she
said.

For the project, the NMML has tied up with the National
Council for Science Museums, which manages major science
centres across India including the Delhi Science Centre.

The upgrade will bring its infrastructure and equipment
at par with other planetaria in the world.

The Nehru Planetarium, which has a capacity of 300
people, is always bustling with activity and records regular
footfalls, especially from schoolchildren.

Throughout the year, there are a number of workshops or
observing activities. Besides the regular public shows
detailing the various aspects of the solar system are shown
four times daily.

Mukherjee says the overhaul will also allow the
planetarium to develop new programming and interesting
features.

The capacity of the planetarium, however, and the dome
area will remain the same, Mukherjee said.

Nehru Planetarium, a wing of the NMML, was established by
the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to promote astronomy
education.

The revamp of the planetarium is one among a series of
upgradation exercises being carried out at the institution, to
make it more suited to the present day and help it recognise
its vision of disseminating information.

Another major programme that got underway recently, was
the complete digitisation of the library, which will make the
treasure of information there available to people across the
country.

"Our main objective is to help as many number of people
access the host of material information we have, and these are
ways to achieve it," Mukherjee said.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 4, 2010 - 10:05

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