Contact information


Mark Peterson, Former Director, Gates Planetarium, Denver, Colorado

Raritan Valley College, Somerville NJ, 1997

Santa Barbara





New Jersey



The Jay B. Nash Stellarium is located at the Raritan Valley Community College planetarium in Somerville, New Jersey.  Dramatic improvements in available materials resulted in brighter, smaller stars with improved color while consuming about one tenth of the power previously required. For this reason it is considered the 3rd generation of Stellarium technology.

It is designed to be moved onto the planetarium demonstration stage so that students can gather around it to see the local stars in real 3D.  After the demonstration three light weight covers close the side and back windows for service in the lighted exhibit hall.  Planetarium director Jerry Vinski and I collaborated on the design of this maximum service three foot diameter Stellarium.

More photos of this Stellarium are on the “What is it?” and “Planning” pages.

Below: The dramatic entrance to the exhibit hall and planetarium. This excellent facility is clearly a source of both civic pride and solid science education for Somerville.  The Jay B. Nash foundation, donor of the Stellarium, is in that community.

Right: A time exposure taken before delivery. Note that the inside surface of the window cover on the right side has not yet been painted black. Side and back window covers come off for 360° viewing. The case is stained very dark ebony, appears much brighter and more red in this time exposure.