Sky is no limit at Brooklyn planetarium

Brooklyn Currents | 4/02/2014 | 0 comments

Students at a Midwood high school are now able to boldly go where none of them have gone before – without leaving Brooklyn.

The Hubble Planetarium – named after astronomer Edwin Hubble, 1889-1953 – opened on Wednesday, April 2 at Edward R. Murrow High School after a three-year, $600,000 renovation.

"We can leave the galaxy and out to the edge of the observable universe," director Marc Horowitz said.

Amid new seating and carpets, the centerpiece of the show is Uniview software developed at the American Museum of Natural History by Dr. Carter Emmart, director of Astrovisualization at the museum's Hayden Planetarium.

"It really allows us now to move through three-dimensional space as we now understand it, and as we map it, and as we apply physics to understand the behaviors of it," Emmart said.

The planetarium at Murrow has been around since 1979 and used the technology of the day to create images  of the stars of the night sky. But the new system goes beyond that.

"This technology really enables a view of the totality of the universe in its various scales," Emmart said.

The kids at Murrow probably won't be the only ones who can stargaze at the planetarium. Administrators hope to open up the state-of-the-art planetarium to students from all around the city in the fall -- as was the case in the past.

If it goes as planned, "students from elementary, middle, and high schools  could come visit the planetarium and have the wonderful experience that our students get," said Murrow's principal, Allen Barge.

But the really lucky ones are the astronomy students at Murrow who get an interplanetary classroom experience.

"On the laptop I would just see a little pixelated screen ," said Kevyn Garcia, a Murrow student. "But this is just amazing!"

"This is definitely a lot better than just standard learning from a textbook or even online," said Abdel Hamdan, another Murrow student. "You get first-hand experience. It's almost as if you were in outer space."

For more information, visit and click on planetarium.

                                                                  -- NY 1 and Brooklyn Currents


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