OMSI's updated planetarium offers new and diverse views of space

The view outside of OMSI's newly renovated Harry C. Kendall planetarium. (Photo: OMSI)

The clouds and rain have returned to the Northwest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sit under the stars and enjoy what the universe has to offer.

While the stars aren’t real, OMSI promises a whole new experience inside its newly renovated Harry C. Kendall planetarium and through updates to its space science program and educational content.

The 25-year-old planetarium has been upgraded with new seats, carpet, a dome cleaning, and new laser and projection systems.

“The public’s expectations are much higher now with their exposure to multimedia presentations, which is why planetariums like ours are changing to address those expectations,” said Jim Todd, the space science director at OMSI, in a news release. “The new projection system will take us to a new level and allow us to be even more creative in the type and variety of programming we offer.”

OMSI says it has also installed new exhibits in the planetarium hallway that are designed to expose visitors to multicultural views of the universe.

The work started in 2015 and was funded through a NASA grant, Lenses on the Sky, that’s aimed at math and science education for children in underserved communities.

“Lenses on the Sky focuses on how people around the world and throughout time observe and understand the sky,” OMSI’s senior learning and community engagement specialist Kyrie Kellett said in the news release.

The renovated planetarium opens to the public this weekend.

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