Page 40 - Cemair SkyNews Aug/Sep 2017
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PROFILE / PLANETARIUM
                                                                                                                                                                   the world experiencing the diversity of pan-  Foundation; the National Lotteries Board;
                                                                                                                                 “We have here the ability to do something   African culture, its folklore, and its art – writ   the University of Cape Town, University of
                                                                                                                                 very special, here scientists can work   large in the night sky; or by witnessing the   the Western Cape and the Cape Peninsula
                                                                                                                                 together to create shows that will make   forces of nature and how climate-change   University of Technology (CPUT).
                                                                                                                                 our young people interested in science. In   affects our planet; or by exploring the infinite
                                                                                                                                 a world of huge data sets, some data can   universe – we are not the same walking out   “As part of the upgraded Iziko South
                                                                                                                                 only be understood if you can see it. Data   of the dome as when we walked  in."  African Museum, the new Iziko Planetarium
                                                                                                                                 visualisation is about astronomy but can                             and Digital Dome will feature as one
                                                                                                                                 also go beyond that.”             “Innovation in science and technology in the   of the African continent’s foremost
                                                                                                                                                                   21st century is the foundation of tomorrow’s   centres of excellence for indigenous
                                                                                                                                 World renowned astrophysicist, author and   economy and our planet’s sustainability.   knowledge generation. This type of
                                                                                                                                 science communicator, Dr Neil DeGrasse   Given the challenges facing us all, I know   partnership, between museums, academia
                                                                                                                                 Tyson echoed this. He said: “No longer is the   of no better way to unleash the untapped   and government illustrates the value
                                                                                                                                 visitor limited to what the universe looks like   potential within the citizenry of the African   and impact of collaboration in creating
                                                                                                                                 from Earth. Vistas from across the galaxy   continent.”              synergies between generating knowledge
                                                                                                                                 and the universe itself are now possible …                           and providing platforms of expression
                                                                                                                                 A digital planetarium further enables the   Investments totalling R28.5 million were   and innovation,” Rooksana Omar, Chief
                                                                                                                                 wonders of the natural world to touch our   secured for this project, with partners   Executive Officer, Iziko Museums of South
                                                                                                                                 lives in unexpected ways."        including the Department of Arts and   Africa, said at the launch in May.
                                                                                                                                                                   Culture; the Department of Science
                                                                                                                                 “Whether we gain perspective of our place in   and Technology; the National Research




























                           SHOOTING STARS







          Following a R28 million overhaul   “We were using technology from the 1980s,”   the Dog as he heads off for outer space
                                            said Theo Ferreira, Director of the Iziko   adventures, Asteroid Mission Extreme and
          the Iziko Planetarium in Cape     Planetarium, at the re-opening in May 2017.   the award-winning 'To Space and Back'
          Town offers revolutionary star    “We needed to get with the times and beef   documentary.
                                            up the technology. We also wanted to create
          gazing opportunities.             a facility that could do some research.”  However, a mandate for the planetarium
                                                                               is the ability to not only provide public
          An icon at the top of Queen Victoria Street,   As a result one of the two new computer   edutainment, but also be the continent's
          the Iziko Planetarium has been a Cape   clusters implemented by the planetarium   foremost facility for data capture. Artists and
          Town institution for three decades, allowing   shall be used for research. “Now, with what   scientists, especially from the marine fields,
          almost two million visitors to engage and   we’ve got, we can do different types of   as well as astrophysicists are invited to
          explore the night sky and beyond.   presentations,” he continued. “The whole   engage with the new technology.
                                            dome becomes a screen and you get a 3D
          Now, following a major overhaul the   experience.”                   Planetarium patron, Professor Danie
          planetarium is moving into the future.                               Visser said modern science was about                    Innovation in science and technology in the 21st century is the
          Fitted with cutting-edge fully immersive   As part of the improved edutainment   co-operation and being able to handle very
          groundbreaking technology the planetarium   offering the planetarium has opened with   large data sets. “This project is a wonderful   foundation of tomorrow’s economy and our planet’s sustainability.
          dome offers revolutionary experiences for   three new shows. These include a part-  example of co-operation,” he told the
          visitors, scientists and artists.   animated adventure that follows Tycho   Sentinel News at the opening.

         40 | AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2017 CEMAIR SKYNEWS                                                                                                                                              CEMAIR SKYNEWS AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2017 | 41
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