Armagh Planetarium is the longest running planetarium in the British Isles. The planetarium was opened in 1968 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018. An icon of the space age when inaugurated, the 12m diameter Dome has witnessed the development of planetarium technology over the past half century. Initially equipped with a starball Goto projector, Armagh then pioneered the introduction of the video revolution into planetaria in the 1970's. Today, Armagh Planetarium is equipped with a state-of-the art digital projector system providing an immersive experience under the full dome.
The technology behind Armagh Planetarium includes a Digistar 6 digital projector with two Sony GTZ270 laser diode projectors providing 4K native resolution and a contrast ratio of up to 20,000:1 on the dome. Images are processed using three computers, a host and a graphic processor for each projector, to produce dynamic, real-time representations of the cosmos onto the dome. A 64bit LED cove lighting system illuminates the dome when entering and leaving. A 5.1 audio system from Dante provides a high quality audio experience to accompany the digital presentations.
Armagh's Education team deliver a variety of presenter-led shows under the dome, taking in journeys around the solar system and the stars. These are accompanied by full dome digital planetarium shows that can take the viewer anywhere in the cosmos. The dome can seat up to 95 people for a show.
Directors of Armagh Planetarium
Dr Patrick Moore 1967-1968
Dr Ian Griffin 1990-1995
Dr Tom Rackham 1968-1971
Dr Tom Mason 1996-2015
Terence Murtagh 1971-1989
Prof. Michael Burton 2016-Present