Ground was broken for the Calusa Nature Center Planetarium in May 1984, and construction was completed in December 1986. The planetarium dome is 44 feet in diameter. The planetarium has permanent seats for 87 people and 3 wheelchair spaces.
The Calusa Nature Center Planetarium is the only planetarium in Southwest Florida, with no other planetarium open to the public along the western half of Florida south of Bradenton.
In 2010, the original Spitz 512 planetarium projector was replaced by a new Konica Minolta Mediaglobe II digital projector, which allows full-dome planetarium shows.
In 2011, a 40-foot by 11-foot stage was added to the front of the planetarium theater, making it more versatile for speakers, plays, and other special events. A new LCD video projector projects from the rear of the planetarium, allowing us to show anything from a laptop, DVD player, or Blue Ray player.
The planetarium is open each day the Calusa Nature Center is open and typically has educational shows at 1:30 and 3:00 pm each day. Admission to both shows is included in the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium ticket price and both shows are free to members.
The Calusa Nature Center Planetarium is the home of the Southwest Florida Astronomical Society. You can learn more about them by visiting their website, www.theeyepiece.org.
For a complete planetarium schedule, including show times and descriptions, please see our calendar page, http://www.calusanature.org/Calendar.html.
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