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Glasgow Science Centre to upgrade its planetarium

Discover galaxies far, far away in Scotland’s first full dome digital planetarium.

You will soon be able to explore the entire cosmos faster than the speed of light from the comfort of Glasgow Science Centre. The five star attraction is set to upgrade its planetarium to a state of the art fulldome digital system which will take audiences on journeys through the solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Opening in late summer 2015, the new planetarium will offer a truly out of this world experience.

The digital system will allow for a deeper exploration of our place in space. In its current form, the planetarium assumes the earth is the centre of the universe, as everyone did before Galileo and Copernicus proved them wrong. The new digital system will bring the planetarium up to the modern age and allow us to see our universe in three dimensions as audiences are transported to any point in the known universe!

Astronomer Steve Owens, Manager of the planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre explains:

“The new digital system will allow our visitors to explore the universe like never before through live presenter-led shows taking them on a tour through our solar system, or zooming out of the Milky Way to seeing our galaxy from above. We will take seconds to take our audiences to places in space that would take the fastest spacecraft ever built 40,000 years to reach.”

We will have shows suitable for all ages, allowing us to engage with pre-school children, school pupils at all stages of learning, and families, while at the same time enabling us to take our adult learners on in-depth explorations of our cosmos in a programme of evening lectures and night classes.”

As well as expert led astronomy shows, the new system will show spectacular fulldome films. In contrast to a cinema screen, the films will be displayed 360° across the 15-metre hemispherical dome of the planetarium giving a truly immersive experience. Google’s “Back to the Moon for Good”, narrated by Tim Allen- the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Disney’s Toy Story- will be amongst the first fulldome films shown at the planetarium.

John Brown, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, has long been an advocate on a digital projection system at Glasgow Science Centre:

“Since the late Professor Archie Roy and I persuaded the original Science Centre designers to install a Zeiss starball, I have loved seeing the superb starry sky it provides and I will be sad to see it go. However, the quality of digital system star projection has improved enormously and, combined with its vastly greater versatility, will offer much better value for money than maintaining the expensive Zeiss. Glasgow Science Centre is to be congratulated on investing in this new system and in steering resources into the creation of a much enlarged quality planetarium team under the expert leadership of Steve Owens.”

Over a million people have relaxed under the twinkling canopy of stars in the celestial treasure trove of the planetarium since it opened in 2001. Families have gone on starry adventures, school pupils have learned about the solar system and some couples have even said their “I do’s.”

Dr Stephen Breslin, Chief Executive of Glasgow Science Centre is excited about what possibilities the new system will bring:

“Space exploration and the wonders of the universe captures everyone’s imaginations. From those who grew up with the moon landings in the 70s through to the modern day explorations of Mars. Space and astronomy provide major inspirations for young people as they consider their future studies and career options, and it is critical for us that we continue to attract young people into science and engineering. Scotland has played a huge part in the recent successes of the growing UK space sector. To deliver the Governments’ vision of a £40bn industry by 2030, now is the time to inspire the next generation of innovators. The installation of the new digital system here at Glasgow Science Centre will help us ignite curiosity and exceed the expectations of modern learners with inspirational, real time content and state of the art technology. It will be a fantastic resource for people of Glasgow, and beyond.”


  • planetarium
  • full dome
  • glasgow


Glasgow Science Centre

Glasgow Science Centre is concerned with the resurrection of Scotland's proud spirit of innovation and creativity through the establishment of a scientifically aware and technologically capable society as the foundation for renewed and sustainable social, economic and cultural prosperity. As one of Scotland's must-see visitor attractions, Glasgow Science Centre brings science and technology to life through hundreds of interactive exhibits in the Science Mall, along with one of Europe's most advanced planetaria, the ScottishPower Space Theatre, and Scotland's only IMAX® Theatre.