Melbourne Planetarium gets a stellar tech upgrade

Brand new film Moonbase ONE opens March 9.

Still from 'Moonbase One' featuring Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen.

On March 9, Melbourne Planetarium will unveil a powerful new projection system and launch its awe-inspiring new show Moonbase ONE, starring Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen.

Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks in Spotswood has temporarily closed its busy doors for an exciting technical revamp. Visitors both young and old will soon be stunned by a $1.2 million upgrade to the visual system. The new six-projector system, driven by an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 6 operating platform, will be complemented by new state-of-the-art LED cove lighting. Together, the revamp is another string in the bow of the Scienceworks precinct, which delivers dynamic, breathtaking, and utterly unmissable experiences for all.

Warik Lawrance, Melbourne Planetarium Digital Production Designer explains, "Not only will the image be three times brighter but with thirty-six million pixels on the dome, it will be three times sharper. This will look amazing, and help to produce the most accurate and clear stars possible."

Lawrance adds, "This new software will bring a huge range of new features, including domecasting, video capture, and a cloud library with access to hundreds of thousands of astronomical objects, to create a powerful and much more versatile system."

Moonbase ONE is the latest fulldome show from Museums Victoria's Melbourne Planetarium Production Studio, their first new film since 2016's Capturing the Cosmos. Australian media personality and self-identified geek culture enthusiast Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen stars in the ground-breaking new production. The collaboration sprang from Bendixsen's role launching the Beyond Perception exhibition at Scienceworks in 2018.

The Moon has long captivated humanity, inspiring us to venture into space. Moonbase ONE takes place across the night of a full moon. A Virtual Reality games developer (Bendixsen) struggles to figure out what is going wrong with her new game, which is based in real science. Could the bug be something to do with the phases of the Moon, or how it was formed? Audiences will join an eye-opening adventure that takes full advantage of the Planetarium's enhanced capabilities.

Watch the trailer for Moonbase ONE:

Existing Planetarium shows Starlight, Ticket to the Universe and others will continue showing after reopening, with more colour and depth than ever before. Planetarium Nights, Scienceworks' successful adults-only Friday nights, will return bolder and better than ever. The mysteries of the universe aren't just for kids to contemplate.

A visit to the Melbourne Planetarium isn't quite complete without exploring Scienceworks. Experience the incredible 7-metre Museum of the Moon art sculpture, Award-winning STEM-themed permanent exhibition Beyond Perception: Seeing the Unseen will inspire teens and others to contemplate the unseen wonders of the universe. Ground Up: Building Big Ideas Together will reward littlies for tinkering with sight, sound and touch sensations. And beloved permanent exhibition Think Ahead now boasts Australia's first ever computer CSIRAC.

Melbourne Planetarium reopens on Saturday 9 March with regular scheduling. Tickets on sale now.

Moonbase ONE
A new show at Melbourne Planetarium
Opens from March 9, 2019 at Scienceworks

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