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"The finest display any lobby can have.  People just head for it, go to it. "

Jim Vickery, former co-director, Johnson Planetarium, Lakewood, Colorado

Johnson Planetarium, Lakewood, Colorado 1979 - 1999

Santa Barbara





New Jersey



The Stellarium at Johnson planetarium was the first one larger than three feet in diameter and the forth one ever built. It was a gift placed in service before there was any thought of offering 3D star maps on a commercial basis.  Although it was built on a shoestring budget it served the Jefferson County, Colorado school district for twenty years. There are no known photographs of the unit.

The school district installed large double doors to receive the Stellarium and a large donated Earth globe. A concrete telescope deck was placed just outside of the doors to create a hub of astronomical activity that permitted instruction in the planetarium theater, viewing the celestial sphere with a geocentric model, seeing the local stellar neighborhood in 3D, and then actually locating the stars in the real sky.

Lobby lighting is dimmer controlled, which allowed it to be adjusted to avoid window reflections.

The Stellarium was six feet in diameter, with 321 of the nearest stars.  It was based on the first edition of the Gliese Catalog of Nearby Stars.