The Planetarium of Rome reopens its doors to the public
It is a way to return to the city one of its excellences, invite the curious and enthusiasts to discover new ways of "looking" at the universe and, perhaps, fascinate the very young, growing astronomers of tomorrow.
The initiative is promoted by Roma Culture, Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali, museum services Zètema Progetto Cultura.
There are many surprises in store, including technology, comfort and events. The main focus of the work carried out on the building in recent years, some of which is still in progress, is the equipment. The old optical projector supported by a single digital channel projected onto windows has been replaced by state-of-the-art software. The new digital planetarium, with an articulated system of very high-contrast video projectors, with 4K resolution, is able to reconstruct with extreme realism the surface of the Earth, Moon and Mars, as well as going beyond, to the most distant places in the universe, among galaxies and nebulae.
The possibility of storing a large amount of data and updating it in real time, based on astronomical news, also makes it possible to follow the discoveries of the scientific community. The aim is for visitors to be intrigued, entertained and informed about the latest discoveries about the universe.
Informations and knowledge are not the subject of lectures or conferences, but in the characteristic style of the Planetarium of Roma Capitale they are at the centre of real astronomical shows. Realism and immersiveness, also through an ad hoc audio system, are the keys to the project, designed to offer the public the chance to interact with the "sky", becoming the protagonist of the scene, obviously always in full respect of the real dynamics.
The interaction is not only between Planetarium astronomers and visitors. The software also makes it possible to dialogue with an international community of planetariums by sharing, also live, via the cloud, the results of research and studies, as well as performances, narrative methods and creative solutions at the service of science dissemination. The Planetarium of Rome's special feature is the interdisciplinary language created over the years by its scientific staff. The new software does not change the approach and philosophy, but allows the promotion of cutting-edge cultural and scientific programming, in an interplay of immersive suggestions, contamination between different languages and experimentation. The reopening of the Planetarium also marks the resumption of activities and events, focused on the transversality of languages, ranging from astronomy to history, from geology to art.
And not only technology. The work also involved the atrium with its external propylaeums and staircases, as well as service and office areas. Without neglecting the finishes of the building and the hall. The seats were replaced, while maintaining the circular arrangement to enhance the experience of the immersive "journey", avoiding the cinema effect. And the dome was cleaned. The entire complex of the Museum of Roman Civilisation, which houses the Planetarium, has undergone a series of major renovations. Thanks to funding from Roma Capitale, the installations, the external flooring and the roofing have been restored, as well as work on the reopening of the Planetarium.
The restoration of the room with the reconstructive model of Rome in the Constantinian period, designed by the architect Italo Gismondi, is the subject of a project for which Roma Capitale has allocated 1,100,000 euro. An important phase of the work is included in the PNRR with the allocation of 18 million euro for extraordinary maintenance, restoration and conservation of the museum and collection, with the aim of once again creating an organic exhibition and allowing an immersive experience of life in the Roman age, offering an archive of knowledge for the scientific community and for users, including non-specialists. Other objectives include ensuring the preservation of the building, renovating the elements that have shown signs of difficulty, improving energy efficiency, revising the exhibition itinerary with additional spaces and services available to the public, such as workshops and rest areas, and setting up a restoration and three-dimensional reproduction laboratory.
A complex plan of works designed to allow the Romans and others to return to fully enjoy the structure and contemplate its treasures.