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FACILITIES: Special Academic Facilities

Kean University Alumni Planetarium




Located on the 3rd floor of the Science Building is the Kean University Alumni Planetarium, a 50 seat auditorium with a 180 degree sky view. It it powered by The Starry Night Digital Starlab system.

The Kean University planetarium was donated by the Kean University Alumni Association in 1981 and seats up to 50 guests in a reclined and comfortable position. It is a 12 meter perforated half-dome which allows for light weight yet rigid strength and is coated with a unique planetarium paint that does not cover over the pinholes while eliminates presentation glare, enhancing the viewing experience.

The outdated system was upgraded in 2009 through a $50,000 grant. The Starry Night Digital Starlab system is a completely digitized combination of technology and projection, replacing the outdated, pinhole, incandescently illuminated system, that was used since the 1980's.

A digital planetarium uses a computer to generate images that are displayed by a projector through a special lens (called a fisheye lens which projects a 180 degree field of view with limited or no distortion). A digital planetarium is therefore preferred due to its ability to rapidly and quickly project many different astronomical images.

The Digital STARLAB� is a compact, manually-operated, user-friendly planetarium projection system that was designed to produce the best quality starfield images for fixed domes.

The compact, user-friendly system produces high quality starfield images covering a full 180 degrees x 360 degrees on the dome.

Kean University selected a stable yet powerful Macintosh laptop interface powered by Starry Night Small Dome� software. We can create our own presentations, choose from pre-loaded content, or use the pre-scripted, national standards-based lessons and curriculum modules and show full-dome movies.

Kean's astronomy classes utilize the planetarium and the department holds special events that are open to the Kean community.


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