The Marie Drake Planetarium

Where the stars always shine in Juneau
1415 Glacier Avenue

 Our new Digital Planetarium System is coming soon!

The board has decided to purchase a Digitarium Lambda planetarium projector from  from Digitalis in Bremerton, WA.  

Order placed November 15, 2019

Click button below to learn more on company's website. 

Digital Planetarium Systems

  • A digital planetarium system is a computer-based system using digital projection. Think of the difference between a computer and a slide projector and you start to see the power of a digital system.
  • In a digital system, the projected image is made up of individual pixels. Because the dome is covered by an array of pixels rather than a fixed set of holes or lenses, anything can be projected: videos, images, other applications and labels.
  • Digital systems come with sophisticated software and includes software upgrades.
  • A digital system will show the sky as seen from anywhere in the database. For example, views of the earth from Saturn, our solar system seen from above, the black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Virgo galactic super cluster or any other digital file or video.
  • We can zoom in and out of anything in the entire sky. We can show constellation, line drawings and artwork including those from multiple cultures. 
  • Digital systems have built in ready to use programming. They also allow users to create new programming with scripts or by saving a presentation as we create it.
  • Users of digital system can share (often for free) their astronomy programming.
  • A digital system will provide a more engaging and visually appealing experience for viewers than our current projector.
  • A digital system will also be more interesting and rewarding for volunteers to use and will attract new volunteers
  • We will be able to simulate the sky from any point of Earth or from other planets and moons, asteroids and comets.
  • A digital system will show the sky as seen from anywhere in the database. For example, views of the earth from Saturn, our solar system seen from above, the black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Virgo galactic super cluster or any other digital file or videos.
Proprietary high quality projection lens has sharp focus, high contrast, and minimal color separation

Key features

  • The system comes with pre-made presentations including a set of two dozen full dome videos.
  • The system includes our high-resolution data set of the solar system for spectacular planetary exploration. 
  • We can zoom in and out of anything in the entire sky. 
  • We can show constellation, line drawings and artwork including those from multiple cultures. 
  • The system comes with royalty free music.
  • The system is fixed which means it is not portable. However, we are working with the Girl Scouts to have access to a portable projector and dome which can be used outside the planetarium.
  • Click here to learn more about the technical specifications of this system.

Above three photos from Digitalis. We do not have chairs like this.

The system includes a set of astronomy lesson plans for use for kindergarten through twelfth grade students. 

How did we choose this system?

  • After careful consideration, the he FOMDP has chosen to purchase a Lambda fixed system from Digitalis located in Bremerton, WA. The board considered cost, ease of use, ease to learn to use system, application for K-12 astronomy education, technical specifications, availability of pre made additional programming and ability to create original programming.
  • Board members have seen the system in action and have talked about it with planetarium staff that use it.
  • Board members have also visited Digitalis and communicated extensively with staff about the features and technical specifications of the system. 
  • We were impressed by staff, system and Digitalis’s emphasis on education
  • The Board has negotiated to get an excellent system at a reasonable price which will last for many years.
Projector is operated via a handheld remote control.

How will volunteers learn to use the new system?

  • No special operator training is required other than reading the user manual and using the free lesson plans.
  • Volunteers will work together to and use stored programs to teach themselves how to operate the system.
  • Later, volunteers will teach Juneau School District teachers and other interested educators how to use the system.