New Planetarium Coming Soon

  • Chabot at Large / / May 22, 2023

  • We are excited to announce that our planetarium will soon undergo a million-dollar renovation to bring you a state-of-the-art viewing experience, unlike anything in the Bay Area. 

    Made possible by generous support from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, this full dome transformation will include new servers, projection system, visualization systems, operation/presentation software, video capture system, new audio processing equipment and more. 

    While renovations are underway, the Planetarium will be closed to the public from 5/24-6/6. The Planetarium will reopen Wednesday 6/7 with two new shows, Passport to the Universe and Asteroid: Mission Extreme.

    Passport to the Universe will take visitors on a jaw-dropping 8K journey through the cosmos narrated by Academy Award-winning actor and former Chabot volunteer, Tom Hanks. Asteroid: Mission Extreme is a captivating exploration of the threats and opportunities of asteroids 65 million years in the making. 

    Visitors will notice significant improvements in visuals and audio when the planetarium reopens, elevating the quality of our shows to new heights. 


    Immersive Visuals 

    Shows will appear brighter, clearer and more detailed. With six new laser projectors, light output, contrast and resolution will offer dramatically enhanced viewing experiences. Brightness and resolution will double after this update, offering stunning details and immersive visuals. 


    Crisper and Clearer Audio 

    New audio processing equipment and tuning will notably enhance the sound quality. This upgrade will ensure a more captivating audio experience during planetarium shows. 

    Our Assisted Listening System minimizes background noise and maximizes intelligibility, ensuring uninterrupted and clear delivery. The ALS is most beneficial for individuals experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss, while also offering advantages to those with hearing aids and cochlear implants. 


    Creative In-House Shows 

    A new video capture system and operation software system will demystify the process of creating a planetarium show. This will make it easier and more efficient to create new programming and collaborate with our community for more dynamic storytelling. 

    Chabot’s first in-house planetarium partnership will be a Native Star Stories show with the Ohlone tribe to premiere in early 2024. Building upon our summer Native Skies Stories programs, this show will highlight Ohlone narratives about the night sky in their own voices.