Two NanoSeam Domes and Digistar 7 Bring Immersive Experiences to Life for Visitors Inside the World’s Largest Museum Dedicated to Astronomy
Cosm, a global experiential media and immersive technology company, celebrates the grand opening of the 420,000-square foot Shanghai Astronomy Museum. The expertise of Cosm companies Evans & Sutherland (E&S) and Spitz, Inc. is showcased inside the museum’s world-class planetarium and an adjacent exhibit, which feature two NanoSeam domes and the industry-leading Digistar 7 planetarium software. Cosm, through E&S and Spitz, Inc. was awarded the prestigious and highly competitive contract two years ago due to the companies’ unparalleled industry reputation, experience, and technology.
“We were honored to contribute in such a meaningful way to the Shanghai Astronomy Museum, an incredible project of historic scale and detail. As the inventors of the digital planetarium, we were delighted to contribute our technology expertise in astronomical rendering and display capabilities as well as our installation design and engineering skills to this project.” said Kirk Johnson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Evans & Sutherland. “Cosm’s presence in China goes back to the mid-1990s when we established an office in Beijing, and I want to commend our team there for their collaboration with the museum and their project management at a time when our U.S.-based team was unable to travel to China due to the pandemic. Our China-based colleagues’ relationships were key to our success, and we appreciate their tremendous dedication.”
Designed by Ennead Architects, the new facility, a branch of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum, features three architectural forms to suggest the orbits of celestial objects – as reflected in the Oculus, the Inverted Dome, and the Sphere. The three overlapping forms play a central role in the patron experience, harmonizing the visitor’s journey through time, the infinitesimal presence of humanity in the vast cosmos, and the power of the sun illuminating life on earth.
Inside the Museum
Once inside the museum, visitors will first experience the Oculus, opening above the main entrance, as they witness an orb of sunlight move across the room’s expansive floor, indicating the time of day and season of the year. The Inverted Dome gives guests an authentic experience of day and night, marking the cadence of darkness to light, and light to darkness. The Sphere is an astronomical instrument tracking the sun, moon, and stars with a continuous skylight circumnavigating the structure to allow sunlight to permeate.
Inside the museum’s planetarium, the primary NanoSeam dome screen creates the Sphere, measuring 23 meters in diameter with a 30-degree tilt and 165-degree field of view. Powered by Digistar 7, the dome showcases an unprecedented 20 Sony GTZ280 projectors with 14K+ overall system resolution, the highest available resolution in the industry today.
The Cosm full stack technology, design and expertise is also on display in a second, 17-meter diameter dome operating as a science and art installation within the museum. The second dome is also powered by Digistar 7, with two Sony GTZ280 projectors and a Goto Orpheus Optical Star Projector.
Expertise in China
With E&S and Spitz, Inc. leading the way, Cosm first ventured to China in 1994, bringing dome planetariums, cutting edge software, and large format screens to new audiences there. Since then, the companies have worked hand-in-hand with their Chinese partners to grow the number of premier planetariums to more than 70. Today there are 42 Digistar systems and 28 NanoSeam domes in China.