When I was a student at EKU from 1979 through 1985, the Hummel Planetarium although built, was never opened. There were ongoing problems with the equipment and, I believe, a lawsuit or lawsuits involved. At the time, it was one of the largest planetariums in the United States, even if it wasn’t operational. A few years ago, I finally got to go to a show there on one my trips home. It was great, and I encourage anyone in the region to visit the planetarium. You can learn more about it by clicking here. Some of the basic facts are as follows:
The Arnim D. Hummel Planetarium is located on the main campus of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky.
The Planetarium was opened on November 16, 1988. It contains a Spitz Space Voyager projection system under a 20.6 meter (67.5 feet) dome that is tilted at an angle of 27 degrees. At the present time, the Hummel Planetarium is one of the largest and most sophisticated planetariums in the United States, especially on a university campus. The Planetarium has seating for 164 people in very comfortable and generously sized seats.
The projection equipment used to simulate the night sky consists of a starball that measures one meter in diameter and is capable of projecting up to 10,164 stars. Other equipment includes five planet projectors, a sun projector, and two image projectors that are used to project the moon or a variety of other objects both natural and man-made.
When all projectors are operated simultaneously, a sky can be created as seen from any point on earth, anytime during the day or night, up to 100,000 years in the past or future. A special feature of the Space Voyager projection system is its ability to not only show you the sky as seen from earth, but also from any point within 100 astronomical units (9,300,000,000 miles) of the Earth. This makes it possible to see the sky as it would appear from any planet or moon within our solar system, or any point in between.