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Nehru Planetarium ready to receive the Queen's Baton

Madhur Tankha


The newly renovated complex will host special shows to coincide with Commonwealth Games


NEW DELHI: To coincide with the Commonwealth Games, the Nehru Planetarium at Nehru Memorial Museum and Library here has been refurbished on a big scale and will be thrown open to the public from this Friday.

Dr. Karan Singh, who is chairman of the Executive Council of NMML, will inaugurate the newly-renovated Planetarium. The Queen's Baton Relay will arrive in the morning.

“Since Teen Murti House is a historic monument, the NMML has been chosen as the venue where the Queen's Baton will arrive and then go to other venues,” said NMML Director Mridula Mukherjee.

Sportspersons and differently-abled ones participants will be given a heart-warming welcome by children.

With support from the Union Culture Ministry, the NMML undertook the renovation and modernisation project. “We wanted the Planetarium to be inaugurated before the commencement of the mega sporting event. It is now a state-of-the-art one with a technical digital projector and new programming,” said Dr. Mukherjee.

A whopping Rs. 11 crore has been spent on renovating the Planetarium.

Opened in 1984, the Planetarium has played a significant role in increasing curiosity level and knowledge of stars and planets among visitors, particularly school children.

The original optical projector showed a maximum of a few thousand stars, which is about as many as you can see on a clear night.

The new Definiti optical star projector “Megastar” can show 2 million stars including a detailed Milky Way image. The nearby galaxies are also visible in great detail.

“The digital system uses six JVC projectors to produce six-time HDTV resolution. Definiti digital projection will provide us with a wide array of shows that were not possible with the original system. Some of the shows are ‘Chandra: A Stellar Life', ‘Ultimate Universe', ‘Dawn of Space Age' and ‘Awesome Light',” said Planetarium Director N. Rathnasree.

The inaugural programme, ‘Chandra: A Stellar Life', was crafted together as a tribute to Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. It will be available to all viewers just as the Chandrasekhar centenary celebrations begin worldwide.

Following the re-opening of the Planetarium, a number of interesting activities will be made available to visitors during the Commonwealth Games.

The Planetarium will be conducting live interactive shows for the visitors at specific times during this period. One segment of these live shows will be aimed towards astronomy education and celebrating the skies, while a second segment of the live shows will be celebrating the city of Delhi.

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