Hayden Planetarium

Hayden Planetarium

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The Hayden Planetarium is a public planetarium
A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation...

, part of the Rose Center for Earth and Space
Rose Center for Earth and Space
The Rose Center for Earth and Space is a part of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Center's complete name is The Frederick Phineas and Sandra Priest Rose Center for Earth and Space. The main entrance is located on the northern side of the museum on 81st Street near...

 of the American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History , located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world...

 in New York City, currently directed by astrophysicist
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

 Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist, a science communicator, the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, and a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History...


Since February 2000, the planetarium has been one of the two main attractions within the Rose Center. The top half of the Hayden Sphere houses the Star Theater, which uses high-resolution fulldome video
Fulldome refers to immersive dome-based video projection environments. The dome, horizontal or tilted, is filled with real-time or pre-rendered computer animations, live capture images, or composited environments....

 to project “space shows” based in scientific visualization of current astrophysical data, in addition to a customized Zeiss Star Projector
Zeiss projector
A Zeiss projector is one of a line of planetarium projectors manufactured by the Carl Zeiss Company.The first modern planetarium projectors were designed and built in 1924 by the Zeiss Works of Jena, Germany in 1924. Zeiss projectors are designed to sit in the middle of a dark, dome-covered room...

 system replicating an accurate night sky as seen from Earth. The bottom half of the Sphere is home to the Big Bang Theater, which depicts the birth of the universe
Big Bang
The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the young Universe to cool and resulted in...

 in a four-minute program. As visitors leave the Planetarium theater, they exit to the Size Scales of the Universe exhibit which shows the vast array of sizes in the universe; the walkway itself is a timeline of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present. This exhibit leads to the Big Bang Theater and exits to the Cosmic Pathway, which shows the history of the universe. From the bottom of the Cosmic Pathway, visitors can stop by the Hall of Planet Earth to explore geology, weather, plate tectonics and more, or go down to the Hall of the Universe to explore the realms of planets, stars, galaxies and more.

The Hayden Planetarium offers a number of courses and public presentations including the Frontiers of Astrophysics and Distinguished Authors lecture series.

When the Hayden Planetarium reopened after renovation in 2000 with a model of only eight planets, excluding what was then called planet Pluto
Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun...

, it resulted in a headline-making controversy.


1935 The Hayden Planetarium, designed by architects Trowbridge & Livingston
Trowbridge & Livingston
Trowbridge & Livingston was an architectural practice based in New York City in the early 20th century. The firm's partners were Samuel Beck Parkman Trowbridge and Goodhue Livingston ....

, opens, after its construction is funded by a $650,000 loan from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was an independent agency of the United States government, established and chartered by the US Congress in 1932, Act of January 22, 1932, c. 8, 47 Stat. 5, during the administration of President Herbert Hoover. It was modeled after the War Finance Corporation...

 and a $150,000 donation from banker Charles Hayden
Charles Hayden (banker)
Charles Hayden was an American financier and philanthropist. He was the senior partner of Hayden, Stone & Co. and his influence was such that James W...

 of Hayden, Stone & Co.
Hayden, Stone & Co.
Hayden, Stone & Co. was a major securities firm founded in 1892 by Charles Hayden and Galen L. Stone. The firm was acquired by Cogan, Berlind, Weill & Levitt in 1972 and was part of what ultimately would become Shearson/American Express in 1981.-History:...

  Its mission was to give the public
a more lively and sincere appreciation of the magnitude of the universe... and for the wonderful things which are daily occurring in the universe.
1960 A Zeiss Mark IV projector
Zeiss projector
A Zeiss projector is one of a line of planetarium projectors manufactured by the Carl Zeiss Company.The first modern planetarium projectors were designed and built in 1924 by the Zeiss Works of Jena, Germany in 1924. Zeiss projectors are designed to sit in the middle of a dark, dome-covered room...

 is installed.
1973 A Zeiss Mark VI projector and new seats are installed.
1979 The planetarium appears as a backdrop for scenes in the film Manhattan
Manhattan (film)
Manhattan is a 1979 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Woody Allen about a twice-divorced 42-year-old comedy writer who dates a 17-year-old girl before eventually falling in love with his best friend's mistress...

. Woody Allen
Woody Allen
Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

 and Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton is an American film actress, director, producer, and screenwriter. Keaton began her career on stage, and made her screen debut in 1970...

 play characters who walk around within the planetarium after escaping from a sudden downburst of rain.
1997 The original Hayden Planetarium is closed and demolished in January.
1999 A new, customized Zeiss Mark IX projector is installed in August. It is accompanied by a digital dome projection system that provides a 3-D visualization
3D computer graphics
3D computer graphics are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images...

 of the universe based on images generated in real time by a Silicon Graphics
Silicon Graphics
Silicon Graphics, Inc. was a manufacturer of high-performance computing solutions, including computer hardware and software, founded in 1981 by Jim Clark...

2000 On February 19, the Rose Center for Earth and Space, designed by James Polshek
James Polshek
James Stewart Polshek is an American architect based in New York City. He is the founder of Polshek Partnership, the firm at which he was Principal Design Partner for more than four decades...

 and containing the new Hayden Planetarium, opens to the public.

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