|Reopening includes enhanced cleaning protocols, alternate row seating and more|
|Wednesday, July 1 marks the second phase of reopening for The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature when it reopens its popular Planetarium to guests. The theater will open with the newly installed, latest-generation system, enhanced cleaning protocols and new seating procedures designed to keep guests as safe as possible. The Planetarium is the premier astronomy facility on Florida’s west coast — and its new Digistar 6 system is 1½ times brighter than the previous system and has four times the contrast, thanks to the new state-of-the-art projection system and software. The Bishop upgraded The Planetarium during its temporary closure in the spring to be able to offer an even better experience to guests. |
“Guests will see the difference our new Digistar 6 digital system makes in The Planetarium: we now have brighter images and better contrast,” said Planetarium Manager Howard Hochhalter. “We’re able to give them an even better experience because the combination of our new system and the size of our dome enables us to recreate a dark sky natural environment. And one of the most exciting things is that now we’ll actually be able to show them how black holes affect the objects around them, including how they bend light in surprising ways.”
|The Planetarium is a unique astronomy education resource in Southwest Florida, allowing visitors to explore the universe through immersive virtual journeys to the far reaches of the cosmos. |
The full-dome Planetarium’s Digistar 6 dual projection system and latest-generation software provide stunning views and allow for constant updating as new astronomy discoveries are made.
The new Digistar 6 system will also allow The Bishop to share live on-air events — like the recent launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Rocket — as they happen.
|This image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole 6.5 billion times the Sun’s mass. The Planetarium’s new Digistar 6 projection system and software will allow us to show how black holes affect objects around them. Image Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration|
|The Planetarium will open with a new show called “Flight Through Our Solar System,” a 10-minute live flight through the solar system that will begin at the sun then travel through the asteroid belt, past Pluto and the other outer planets, until we arrive at the icy outer reaches of the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, located on the outer fringe of our solar system.|
“It was important for us to take as much time as we needed to properly prepare our reopening sanitation protocols for The Planetarium,” said Brynne Anne Besio, Museum CEO. “We’re confident that we’re doing the absolute best we can for our visitors and we’re excited to welcome them back to show them one of the major upgrades we were able to make during our temporary closure.”
To ensure a minimum of 6 feet of social distance between guests, they will be seated in every other row with at least three seats between groups in the same row. Rows will alternate for each showing, with frequently touched surfaces wiped down between shows. The Bishop staff will also use a mister to sanitize seats.
“These enhanced protocols follow CDC guidelines,” Besio said. “We’re continuing to require guests to wear masks, follow our new one-way route through the Museum and purchase timed tickets online that allow for hands-free check-in. These precautions are all designed to keep our staff and guests as safe as possible.”
“We joke that our Planetarium is perfect for star nerds — people who are most passionate about astronomy,” Hochhalter said. “But I think this new system is perfect for everyone — from newbies to dedicated amateurs, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it in action!”
|New Admission Pricing|
|The Planetarium is included in in the price of general admission. Here are the updated admission prices that go into effect July 1 to reflect the reopening of The Planetarium:|
Adults 18-64: $20Seniors (65+): $19Youth (12-17) and College Students (with ID): $16Children (5-11): $12Children 4 and younger: Free with paying adult
Please note: The Mosaic Backyard Universe remains temporarily closed to guests.