Digital Full Dome Planetarium Theater

The Bishop Planetarium is the region’s premier astronomy education facility, as well as a multimedia theater for films, lectures, live music and digital art performances. The Planetarium is a foundational component of the South Florida Museum’s Mission: To engage and inspire learners of all ages; we protect, interpret and communicate scientific and cultural knowledge of Florida, the world, and our universe. The new Planetarium system – the Digistar 5 dual Projection System installed in October 2013 – improves the viewer experience of the Museum’s expanding full-dome show library with projectors that are more than three times as bright and twelve times crisper (higher contrast) than the previous projectors. The system allows for exploration of Earth through the use of 200 continually updated satellite datasets of our planet’s land, ocean, atmosphere and climate and live Bing and OnTerra views of the entire planet. 


“We waited for the new Digistar system to be released, and I'm happy to say that I'm glad we did,” says Bishop Planetarium Director Jeff Rodgers. “The projection is bright, crisp and beautiful. And the new astronomy software is simply amazing. The stars in the night sky look fantastic, but there's so much more. We have a digital, three-dimensional map of the entire universe. We can lift off from Earth and fly out of our solar system, out of our galaxy, and out to the very edge of the universe. Or we can orbit Earth, using satellite data to observe and understand our planet in a whole new way. It's hard to imagine a more powerful set of tools for exploring our universe and our place in it.”


Incorporating unidirectional stadium style seating and a digital 25,000 watt Dolby 5.1 surround sound system, the Bishop Planetarium Theater is capable of accommodating a wide range of programs, from lectures to film series to live performances. But first and foremost, the planetarium is a remarkable astronomy education resource, allowing visitors to explore their universe through traditional live star talks and immersive virtual journeys to the far reaches of the cosmos.


2016: The 50th Anniversary of the Bishop Planetarium

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Bishop Planetarium — the Gulf Coast's premier astronomy education facility. Just for fun, we pulled together a few lesser-known space-related facts that we thought you would enjoy (cocktail party fodder, perhaps?) Be sure to check back every week for the new fun fact. 


Week 1: George Lucas wasn’t a stickler about space science. In “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,” Han Solo says to Luke and Obi Wan, “You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs." A parsec is used by astronomers to measure distance, not time. One parsec equals 19 trillion miles, so Han is saying the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 228 trillion miles.



Click here for a detailed show schedule


Life: A Cosmic Story sponsored by