The Planetario di Roma opens its doors on 22 April 2022, following important work to restore its technology.
With a 14-metre dome and 98 seats, it is one of the largest planetariums in Italy. Its almost 100-year history, dating back to 1928, makes it the oldest planetarium in the world outside Germany.
The Planetarium is located in a very large hall inside the Museo della Civiltà Romana.
The auditorium is composed by 98 comfortable seats, specifically adjusted to allow the view to be directed upwards, arranged in three circles inside the wide dome, 14 metres in total length.
The wide surface of the dome provides a screen for the new, high-performance digital system, a 300 m2 large hemispherical screen that provides an immersive and extremely immersive view for visitors. The heavenly objects on the dome are illuminated by two Sony laser video projectors with a high brightness and contrast ratio, allowing a perfect darkness of the night sky, allowing the light and shadow nuances of the Via Lattea to be modulated realistically, while at the same time highlighting the brightest stars and the surfaces of the planets. The projection on the dome is at 4K resolution, making the new Planetario one of the best performing on the Italian scene.
The technological core of the new projection system, which has replaced the old optic-mechanical projector used until 2014, consists in a network of four different computers that control the image development and sound diffusion towards the 5+1 audio system of the hall. The heart of the Planetario is the state-of-the-art Sky Explorer software, developed by the French company RSA Cosmos, which allows a whole virtual universe to be reproduced in all its aspects: from the classic movements of the stars in the open sky to the three-dimensional flight over the planets, the evolution of the stars, constellations and galaxies over time, and the immersion in space-time at the limits of the visible universe.
The main difference with the old optomechanical system, reproducing the stars' sky as seen from Earth, is that the digital planetario It is possible to visit other planets and heavenly objects, and to recollect astronomical events that took place in the past or are expected in the future. Everything is done by flying the journey in the first person, using a tablet, as in a real universal flight simulator. Finally, the mind - and the voice - of the Planetario di Roma are four scientists and science communicators who, drawing on 18 years of experience, design, compose and produce the astronomical shows at the Planetario di Roma, bringing their experience and live storytelling to the event.