What is a Planetarium?
The word "planetarium" is currently used in two ways: to indicate the machine that projects the heavenly bodies onto the dome, and to indicate the theater in which the demonstration or show takes place. In the planetarium theater, the night sky is reproduced so accurately that you may feel that you are outside, viewing mountains or deserts far away from the city lights and smog.
With the aid of special effects projectors you feel as if you are a space traveler who has been transported into space to see other worlds close at hand, and you can witness such beautiful sights as halos, rainbows, auroras, thunderstorms, eclipses, fireballs, comets, supernovae, black holes, and more.
The SRJC Planetarium
The Santa Rosa Junior College Planetarium is pleased to offer planetarium presentations especially designed to be of interest to students of all grade levels and the community. Each program contains spectacular visual effects and up-to-date information on the various topics covered.
Our goal in presenting these programs is to stimulate interest and curiosity in the universe by combining education and entertainment.
With a dome 40 feet in diameter and 27 feet high and a capacity to seat 90, the Planetarium is one of the largest space science facilities in the California Community College System. As a Department in the Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math cluster, it is an important addition to the SRJC's Santa Rosa campus, one in which the community can be proud.
The Planetarium contains some of the most modern and sophisticated equipment, including the Goto model GX-10 star projector. This machine can reproduce the appearance of the sky onto the dome, showing the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars in their proper positions. Moreover, this projector can show the heavenly bodies as they appear from any place on Earth at any time in the past or future, for thousands of years. It can speed up the motions of the heavens so that days, years, centuries, or even millennia can be made to pass in minutes.
The function of the Planetarium is threefold. It is an instructional facility for students at SRJC; it provides a variety of programs designed to support the studies of students in elementary, junior high, and high school; and it serves as a theater for public planetarium presentations on the weekends.