PEEC raising funds for projector

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By The Staff

The Pajarito Environmental Education Center and a group of expert astronomers are raising funds for a new $80,000 projector for the planetarium that would double the brightness and resolution.

Opening in 2005, the quality of planetarium shows has been hampered by the limitations of the planetarium projector, according to Sandra West, spokeswoman for PEEC.

“During star shows, astronomers are unable to show the audience the different colors of the stars or their relative brightness, as the projector’s resolution is too poor. Films often appear dull, or washed out, their colors pale and uninspiring,” West said in a release late Tuesday.

A group of expert astronomers who volunteer in the planetarium decided to do something about this.

They are raising $80,000 for the new Digitarium Lambda Plus projector and plan to have the projector installed by Earth Day 2018, just in time for the opening of the award-winning National Parks Adventure film narrated by Robert Redford.

As of Tuesday night, nearly $39,000 was raised. The new projector will give people a WOW experience – the kind that inspires children to pursue a career in astronomy or other sciences, West said in the release.

According to the website, the project more than doubles the brightness and resolution of the current projecter and has a higher contract. The new projecter would also have 30-times the lamp life. Chick Keller, Richard Wallace, Galen Gisler and Paul Arendt have been talking to friends of PEEC and to other astronomers in town about the importance of the new projector.

Each volunteer has given a significant gift towards the new projector. PEEC has created a special webpage to collect donations towards the project: peecnature.org/donate-projector. The astronomers and PEEC are asking the public to get involved with a gift of any size.