Recent news from the state of Bengaluru witnesses Chief minister Siddaramaiah announce the opening of the Swami Vivekananda 3D Planetarium at Dr Shivaram Karanth Biological Park in Pilikula. The announcement reveals that the state-of-the-art planetarium at Pilikula Regional Science Centre (PRSC) will be made full operational before December 2017 the estimated cost of this projects stands at Rs 35.69 crore.
Mangalore will become India’s first city to integrate such a facility, similar to what Hong Kong and Macau has established. The foundation stone for the 3D Planetarium was laid by the then chief minister, Jagadish Shettar, back in March 2013. The project was initially scheduled to be completed within two years’ time, however, it has overrun the deadline by two years.
India will have a first of its kind 3D Planetarium, considering the technical specifications it combines. It has been designed to be unidirectional with a dome diameter of 18 meters. Based on the size and type of chairs, the new Planetarium might hold 150-180 seats. Moreover, it will house all modern innovations coupled with 3D technology to present students and enthusiasts with the best learning experience.
The planetarium has been named after Swami Vivekananda to mark his 150th birthday anniversary in 2013. An additional amount of Rs 5 crores was sought by the PRSC authorities to procure instrumentation. Global tenders have already been invited through e-procurement for instrumentation. Japan, France, United States, or Germany are some of the probable countries where the instruments might be obtained from.
Currently, 3D technology has been incorporated in around 20 countries globally. ‘Heavens of Copernicus’, based in Warsaw was the first one to introduce it in Europe. Many planetariums have adopted “Passive 3D systems” and the Eye of Montsec. However, Montsec Observatory in Barcelona is equipped with next generation technology “Active 3D”. The Starlight Foundation granted institution is additionally backed by UNESCO.