In a first, NASA to directly update Rampur planetarium database

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an agency of US government, will update online the database of Rampur planetarium in UP with information on future celestial events.

Planetarium authorities said that this would be the first planetarium in the country to be directly updated online by NASA.

Officials said that NASA will update the database through US-based company Evans and Sutherland, which has manufactured equipment for the planetarium.

The current practice is planetariums collect information about celestial events offline from NASA.

Officials also said that the Rampur planetarium is the first one in the country based on Digital Laser Technology. The planetarium - built at a cost of Rs 28 crore - is in the stage of final testing, and its inauguration is expected soon. The planetarium project was announced in 2006 by then Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

"There are a few other such digital planetariums in the country where the database about celestial events will be updated online by NASA. But these planetariums are in development stage. As Rampur planetarium is ready, it will be first in the country to receive such information online from NASA," said Anil Yadav, state project coordinator (planetariums), UP. One such planetarium is coming up in Bhubaneshwar also.

With digital laser technology, the planetarium will display celestial activities with better quality graphics in high resolution (4000x4000 pixels) as compared to other contemporary planetariums in the country.

In UP, there other two state-owned planetariums in Gorakhpur and Lucknow. Lucknow planetarium is based on opto-mechanical technology, in which images of astronomical events are created through multiple lenses.

The main feature of Rampur planetarium is that it can display graphics of astronomical events six months before its happening. Such events include movement of a comet or planet close to Earth or an eclipse-either solar of lunar.

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