Aberdeen’s Planetarium is getting ready for take-off!

July 8, 2019

North East Scotland College is delighted to announce the re-opening of its Planetarium thanks to a group of College enthusiasts.

Alan Glendinning, Multimedia & Technical Services Manager at NESCol, explains, “When the Planetarium closed its doors a number of years ago, it left many stargazers disappointed.  The Planetarium is such a unique resource and we still get a lot of requests from the public to see it. So, a group of us got together and, with the backing of senior management, we are bringing the Planetarium back to life so that visitors can sit back, relax and enjoy a journey through space!”

Opened in 1977 for maritime courses, the Planetarium was invaluable to seafarers but, as shipping technology took over, the facility was used less and less.

A grant from the Royal Astronomical Society in the late 1990s allowed the Planetarium to take on a new lease of life and it became the go-to place for children’s groups and enthusiasts.

At a cost of £17,000 (the cost of a house back then), the multi-lens analogue projector built by Ash Enterprise was, and still is, as clear and sharp as the day it was put in over 40 years ago, and with its seamless dome and comfortable seating, as the lights went down, students and visitors were lulled into a world of stars.

The first new shows are aimed at young visitors who will be able to take part in ‘NESCol’s Galactic Journey’ over the summer holidays. It is hoped that shows aimed at adult and star enthusiasts will be rolled out later in the year.

Planetarium presenter (and NESCol Science lecturer) Dr Aakash Welgamage-Don said, “The first series of Planetarium shows are aimed at children aged 9-12 years. We will take them on a journey to discover the wonders of the fascinating night sky and experience the galactic journey from the beginning of our life and solar system into the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond”.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite

Title: NESCol’s Galactic Journey

Venue: Aberdeen City Campus

Dates: 6-8 August 2019

Times: 11-12 and 1.30-2.30

Ticket price: £5 (plus booking fee)

The Planetarium will also be taking part in the Aberdeen Open Door event on Saturday 7th September where visitors will be able to tour the College’s state-of-the-art Creative Industries department, Hair and Beauty Salons, take an inter-galactic tour in the Planetarium followed by a visit to the Travel Suite and a complimentary refreshment in Gate 63, the College’s training restaurant.