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Last Updated: Monday, 17 March 2008, 09:44 GMT
Planetarium's 'real-time' show
By Andrew Webb
Technology reporter, BBC website

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Voyage into space to view Earth's weather patterns

A planetarium incorporating some of the world's most advanced digital projection technology is due to open in the south of England in March.

The Intech science centre near Winchester receives data from Nasa, other space agencies and weather bureaux to produce current images of space and Earth.

Engineers are still designing shows that make best use of the hi-tech centre, with an interstellar presentation being the first display planned for the planetarium's launch.

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Critic's view of the interplanetary spectacle

Six projectors positioned to the nearest millimetre are focused on a 16.5 metre diameter dome.

Presenters of shows can alter images instantly at the touch of a button.

The technology to change such complex displays within seconds has only been possible in recent years.

It will allow each show to be tailored to the age and interests of each audience.



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