TJC science center to debut new space exhibit, digital projection system

TJC science center to debut new space exhibit, digital projection system
Tyler Junior College's science center features new space exhibit and digital projection system. (Arthur Clayborn/KLTV Photojournalist) (Source: Source:Arthur Clayborn/KLTV)

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler Junior College’s Earth and Space Science Center, which features the Hudnall Planetarium, will debut a new exhibit about space – plus a new way of looking at the stars in its dome theater.

Each year, the center serves more than 32,000 visitors and hosts field trips for more than 175 schools ranging from preschool through high school.

“Outreach to Space” offers visitors a range of challenges to learn about outer space, what is out there, how to get there, what life is like in space, and the future of space exploration.

“These exhibits are professionally designed and expertly made, built by the world-famous Exploratorium in San Francisco,” said Dr. Beau Hartweg, TJC’s science center director. “It’s a great way for our visitors to experiment with all the different aspects of space research.”

Exhibit modules include practical lessons on gravity, energy, the constellations, protective gear and space stations, and vehicles.

The center recently upgraded from Digistar4 to the Digitarium Aethos system, which uses 4K laser projection technology to create vibrant, immersive experiences in the 40-foot Hudnall Planetarium.

Nightshade NG software allows for displaying high-resolution imagery of earth, the night sky, solar system, and deep space beyond our galaxy.

“We’re proud to be the first science center in the state to have this system,” Hartweg said. “The first Digitarium Aethos system was installed in Eugene, Oregon, last year, so we are only the second center in the country to have it.”

Dome shows play throughout the day on a rotating schedule.

The new exhibit will debut Oct. 5. The space center is at 1411 E. Lake St., on the TJC main campus. It’s open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Fridays and 10:30 a.m to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tickets are $5 for children, seniors, and students and $7 for adults. Parking is free.

Click here for tickets and showtimes.

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