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SUNSET BEACH—A transition to digital is taking place at Ingram Planetarium.
The two-part transition began during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, when new laser projection equipment with full-color animation and lights choreographed to music was unveiled. The equipment comes complete with a 5.1 surround-sound system.
The system comes with about 20 shows that can be choreographed to popular music from some of history’s greatest artists.
Preview shows featuring music by The Beatles and Pink Floyd took place during the weekend.
The second part of the transition is slated for spring 2009, when the Planetarium will purchase a high-definition, state-of-the-art full-dome digital projector.
Fundraising for the $300,000 system began when longtime museum trustee Hayden O’Neil and his wife Pat gave a large donation for the system.
Louise Ingram, widow of planetarium founder Stuart Ingram, matched the O’Neil’s donation. Other donations from Brunswick County, the Ocean Isle Museum Foundation Board of Trustees, and the staff at the Ingram Planetarium and Museum of Coastal Carolina have founded more than half of the digital equipment.
The new equipment will replace the current star ball projection system and comes with many new programs and features.
The current system lets visitors see the solar system from a ground view, while the digital system can them on a virtual tour through the solar system and stop on individual planets. Programs on other subject areas can be shown through the system, which will help the planetarium meet school curriculum and be more of a versatile learning environment for students.
Donations are imperative to keep the nonprofit planetarium in operation and to complete the digital transition.
To make a donation or for more information, call 579-1016 or 575-0033.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.