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Planetarium News


3/02/08 - New track lighting, projector mounting and seating installation

I (Professor Sholle) apologize for the very long time since the last update to this website, as I was busy working on upgrades to the planetarium itself. We have no staffing, so I need to budget my time. In the summer of 2007 I installed new track lighting with flood lights around the lower rim of the dome. These lights, mainly dimmable fluorescents with some incandescents provide illumination on the audience when using the small PowerPoint projector on the dome, without spilling much light on the dome. The original lighting system illuminated the dome too much. This track lighting is now controlled by dimmers both at the entrance to the room and at the operator's console, and provides a nice ambience to the room. The Long Beach City College Foundation funded the lighting and the college funded the infrastructure electrical wiring to energize and switch the lighting as well as power the PowerPoint projector. Additional signal conduit was also installed to run signals to the PowerPoint projector. Recently I installed that projector in a permanent mount at the back of the dome, and finished audio and video wiring at the operator's console so that multiple computers, sound sources and a DVD player can easily be switched by the operator into the planetarium audio and video system. The biggest news is that on 2/29/08 (an interesting leap day that happens once every four years) our permanent theater seating arrived from the manufacturer in Michigan and was installed. The seating was funded by the generous donors of the (you guessed it) Long Beach City College Foundation. Without the Foundation, the planetarium would not have been completed. For images of the seating installation, see Planetarium Upgrades.

11/09/06 - Additional Astronomy Open House Dates

Professor Seligman has chosen additional dates for the Astronomy Open Houses in the fall semester of 2006 and the spring semester of 2007. See Astronomy Open Houses for more information.

11/03/06 - Pierce College Visit

Professor Sholle gave a tour to a delegation of eight people representing Los Angeles Pierce College who visited the planetarium for several hours. Pierce College is planning a planetarium and had many questions about the planning, construction and operation of our planetarium.

10/27/06 - Astronomy Open Houses Return

Professor Seligman offered his first open house of the fall 2006 semester, now with a planetarium component. These open houses are offered approximately every month during the fall and spring semesters on either a Friday evening or a Saturday afternoon. The Friday evening open houses offer telescope observing on the roof of the D building, weather permitting, in addition to a planetarium component. The Saturday afternoon open houses do not have a telescope observing component. For more information, see Astronomy Open Houses.

10/12/06 - LBCC Foundation Board of Governors Meeting

The Long Beach City College Foundation, which provided the funding that made the planetarium possible, had their Fall Board of Governors Breakfast in room D318, followed by a visit to the planetarium.

10/5/06 - Faculty Flex Day Activity in Planetarium

At the start of the semester, some faculty expressed interest in visiting the planetarium. On the Faculty Flex Day Professor Sholle presented a Flex activity in the planetarium to faculty from across the college. A photo history of the planetarium construction was presented, followed by a planetarium show which highlighted the capabilities of the Digistar 3 SP2 projection system, and how it is used in the classroom. There were two groups, one in the morning and a different group in the afternoon, and participants greatly enjoyed the presentation.

9/27/06-9/29/06 - Digistar User Group

Professor Sholle traveled to Salt Lake City to Evans and Sutherland and to the Clark Planetarium to attend a three day Digistar User Group (DUG) meeting. The DUG is a collection of people from Digistar II and 3 sites around the world who get together annually to learn more about the operation, programming and maintenance of their systems, and who share scripts and shows they have created.

9/7/06-9/11/06 - Installation of Bowen Technovation Audio System

There was not time before the start of the semester to install the audio system, so several weeks into the semester two technicians from Bowen Technovation arrived and installed the audio system. This was a complex installation, involving the placement of multiple large speakers from custom built hangers positioned behind the dome surface. Professor Sholle worked with the technicians throughout the weekend and learned the operation and maintenance of the system.

8/21/06 - Fall Semester Starts

The first students started taking astronomy classes from Professors Seligman and Sholle in the planetarium with the newly installed projection system. During this week, the projection system was used for the first time in classroom instruction.

8/14/06-8/18/06 - Installation of Digistar 3 SP2 Projection System

A technician from Evans and Sutherland arrived and worked all week installing the Digistar 3 SP2 planetarium projection system. Professor Sholle worked with the technician all week, helping out, and learning about maintenance and operation of the system. Professor Seligman, Cindy Hanks and others from Academic Compuing and Multimedia also had some basic training during the week.