The countdown has begun for the much anticipated launch of the revamped Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome in Cape Town. Opening its doors to the public on Saturday, 27 May, the new Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome will offer perspective-3D edutainment and an experience unlike anything local audiences have ever encountered before.

The digital upgrade takes the institution into the next era of technological advancement, and stimulates astronomy development.

The Department of Science (DST), the Department of Arts and Culture, the National Research Foundation, the National Lotteries Commission; and key academic institutions in the Western Cape (the University of Cape Town, University of the Western Cape and Cape Peninsula University of Technology) have invested R28,5 million in the project.

Given that astronomy has been identified as a geographical advantage area for South Arica, the country has made significant investments in the launching of initiatives such as the SKA, the MeerKAT and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT).

The DST has invested in this upgrade and the creation of a digital full-dome immersive planetarium at Iziko, primarily because this will further support and stimulate the development of astronomy and contribute to ensuring adequate infrastructure in South Africa that can enable cutting-edge research across many disciples.

The upgraded Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome will assist to optimise South Africa’s e-research and data visualisation capacity, placing us at the cutting edge of this technology, both on the continent and globally. The new facility will assist South African scientists to develop the skills base and infrastructure required for the Square Kilometre Array, MeerKAT and SALT.

Full-dome digital technology has become the norm for planetariums worldwide, offering high resolution, multi-media image projection. Immersive and multisensory experiences create a hub of creativity and learning that is no longer focused only on astronomy, but on an unlimited array of subjects and genres, with content for audiences of all ages and interests.

Issued by the Department of Science and Technology and Iziko Museums

For more information, contact David Mandaha (DST) at 072 126 8910 or Brighton Khoza (Iziko) 021 481 3838