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"This is beautiful!"

Norm Sperling, Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland, California.

Chabot Space and Science Center, 2000

Santa Barbara





New Jersey



This three foot diameter 233 star Stellarium was the first to use all dichroic color filters for the star colors.  This feature marks the current (4th) generation of Stellarium star maps.  Dichroic filters last forever. Gel and glass tinted color filters bleach out with time and must be replaced. Servicing a modern Stellarium consists of a simple lamp change every 2000 hours of service.

The Stellarium was delivered as a finished unit, a single case requiring no on site assembly. The architect wanted to use the space below the Stellarium efficiently and asked if the general contractor could attach service equipment for the adjacent theater.  This was achieved by first building the Stellarium case then shipping it to the contractor’s shop before the stars were installed. The contractor attached the required equipment and attachment points for a final finish veneer and returned the case to us.  We installed the light unit and stars and delivered the finished unit to the Space and Science Center.  Once on site, the contractor completed the installation of the service equipment and attached the same beautiful red plywood finishing veneer used throughout the hall for a perfect match.

Custom design allows this type of display integration. The Chabot Stellarium was a basic unit supplied with pigtail leads to the internal star markers.  This both reduces the initial price and allows our customers freedom to install their own automated star talk or identification marker control panel.  The decision can be made after the unit is in place and the institution has a better sense of what fits both esthetics and budget best. Chabot decided to attach a panel of their own construction.

Below: The 4th generation Stellarium light unit.  The iridescent colors are reflections from the dichroic filters, condenser lenses, and aluminum components. The single 20 watt capsule lamp has a very long service life. It requires no cooling fans so operation is silent.  Service is extremely simple and consists of lifting the lid, opening the light unit, and replacing the old lamp.  It is a quartz halogen lamp which looses very little brightness as it ages.

Right: The entry area of the Chabot Space and Science Center. The new facility is equally imposing both inside and out.  Located in the Oakland hills, visitors will be treated to some beautiful Bay Area scenery traveling to and from this fine facility.