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Peoria Riverfront Museum Unveils New State-Of-The-Art Planetarium Projector System

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Olivia Streeter

The Peoria Riverfront Museum has installed what officials say is one of the world’s most advanced planetarium projector systems.

The new state-of-the-art Evans & Sutherland 6.5K Digistar 7 system uses six laser phosphor projectors to create 360-degree, ultra-bright high-resolution views of the stars.

The system replaces the failing five-projector 2K system acquired in 2007 for the museum’s predecessor, Lakeview Museum of Arts & Sciences.

John Morris, CEO of the Peoria Riverfront Museum, said that the museum’s installation of the new planetary system could not have been made possible without funding from state departments and private supporters.

“Jim Beard privately stepped up as the chair of our advisory council and helped raise a quarter of a million dollars in private support,” he said. “Then the state of Illinois surprised us with a capital grant that was made available to the big Chicago museums but also available to us, and we are very grateful.”

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Olivia Streeter

Renae Kerrigan, curator of science and planetarium director, said the new system is a huge innovative step for the planetarium and will allow for a more immersive and educative experience for visitors.

“Not only will we be able to (do) astronomy, but there are applications in earth science, biology, chemistry, and more. There is also so much content we didn’t have before,” she said.

The planetarium will reopen to the public on Saturday, after a construction-related closure. For more information, visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum's website.

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