The planetarium dome is 24 feet in diameter and has comfortable seating for 45 plus floor space for wheel chairs. Elevator access is available if needed. Assistive Listening Devices are available upon request. The projection system is a Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5, a full-color, full-dome, state-of-the-art digital projector.
In October of 2013 the planetarium received a new name, the Dr. Leslie E. Spanel Planetarium, in memory of Western’s longtime professor of Physics who passed away in 2002. Spanel’s wife, former State Sen. Harriet Spanel, donated funds for the Digistar projector and other planetarium upgrades in her husband’s memory.
Digistar is the world's best-selling and most advanced fulldome digital theater system. Designed for maximum ease-of-use and intuitive system operation, Digistar redefines what's possible in a digital planetarium with its sophisticated user interface, enhanced realtime capabilities, ultra-high resolution fulldome video playback and open architecture. With Digistar the emphasis is not on the technology but on flexible storytelling tools to customize presentations to any audience.
Because it is digital, the Digistar can be programmed to project virtually any image that can be rendered on a computer, meaning that teachers can develop programs and lessons on any subject in the arts as well as the sciences.
Digistar can play back the latest fulldome shows, including giant screen film transfers for amazing digital cinema experiences. Also, Digistar is all about astronomy and science. The software contains the most comprehensive set of astronomical data ever assembled, including the fully integrated Digital Universe data set from the American Museum of Natural History and NASA. Digistar contains the known universe in three-dimensional realtime computer graphics. See more information about the Digistar Projection System.
The facility has high-back, thick cushioned, comfortable luxurious seating with lots of leg room.
Our sincerest gratitude goes out to friends of the planetarium who contributed and made the seating upgrade happen.