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The Johannesburg Planetarium is to undergo the biggest revamp since it opened 62 years ago.

This was disclosed at an event where the new name, the Wits Anglo American Digital Dome was also announced.

The planetarium will be transformed into a future-savvy, multidisciplinary research, training and science facility thanks to the Wits University and Anglo American.

IT Web reports that the refurbished planetarium will give visitors a 360-degree visual experience in a digital hub where they’ll be able to learn about astronomy and related fields through immersive technology in multi-dimensional, cross-disciplinary worlds.

The refurbishment project is expected to take two years and will be completed in three phases.

The facility will not only invite the public to learn more about the milky way, but it will also be there to satisfy the needs of academics.

According to Roger Deane, director of the Wits Centre for Astrophysics and Square Kilometre Array chair in Radio Astronomy at Wits, the facility is a way of honing a more intuitive and immersive understanding of big data.

“We will be able to visualise our work, whether it is in teaching anatomy to first-year medical students, visualising the myriad particle showers in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, exploring the first galaxies in the Universe, or testing new games, built by Wits gaming design students”.

Image credit: IT Web

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