Sharjah: His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, today opened the revamped, newly-developed, and modernised Sharjah Planetarium at Sharjah Academy for Space and Astronomy Science and Technology, in the presence of Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah.
During the opening ceremony, verses from the Quran were recited, and a video was screened that detailed the many upgrades made to the Sharjah Planetarium, the various components of technology installed in the dome, and the project’s leaders’ achievements and challenges.
According to the presentation, the idea was inspired by the Ruler of Sharjah who wished to offer students, interested parties, and the general public an opportunity to learn about and explore the cosmos.
Professor Dr Hamid Majul Al Nuaimi, Director of the University of Sharjah (UoS), delivered a speech in which he addressed the most prominent figures and achievements of the previous dome, saying: “Since its establishment in 2015, the Sharjah Planetarium at the University of Sharjah is the first in the region in terms of the technologies it contains and the area it enjoys, as its interior diameter reaches more than 18 metres long and can accommodate more than 200 people. With the expertise of its employees, it has remained the focus of the attention of astronomers, space scientists, university and school students, and the general public, and has received thousands of visitors from different age groups and from different parts of the world.”
He added: “With the development of technology in the related scientific fields, we could not stand as observers, so we insistently wanted this Sharjah Planetarium to remain at the forefront and to be distinguished by its equipment with the latest technology, and all this was thanks to the sublime care and generous support of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah and the continuous follow-up of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, President of the University.”
The Director of the University of Sharjah addressed the most important updates that were made to the Sharjah Planetarium in terms of the programmes used, the equipment for lighting and sound, and the high-quality control system, in addition to the entertainment element to meet the desires of students and the public of all ages, indicating that the planetarium will host many conferences and space scientists during the coming period.
Dr Al Nuaimi also thanked all the companies contributing to the project and the various university departments that exerted unremitting efforts and demonstrated excellence and creativity so that the project would be at this level of success and international standing.
A film presentation about space and astronomy was subsequently screened for the Ruler of Sharjah and the audience after he clicked the inauguration button.
The presentation covered a historical and archaeological overview of the classifications of the solar system’s planets, stars, galaxies, and constellations.
The presentation also addressed the beginnings of the International Space Station, including the collaborative efforts of many nations to build it and the Emirati participation in its studies through the participation of Emirati astronauts Hazzaa Al Mansouri and Sultan Al Neyadi.
Then, the students of the Sharjah Academy for Space and Astronomy Science and Technology discussed the most important findings from the research they had done at the Sharjah Observatory in conjunction with external international bodies to track the motion of planets, stars, and meteors.
Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad presented shields and engaged in commemorative photographs with the representatives of the companies that contributed to the design and implementation of the solutions that modernised the Sharjah Planetarium.
During his tour of the academy, the Ruler of Sharjah stopped by the Radio Astronomy Laboratory, the Meteorites Centre, the library, and the Centre for Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing.
Sheikh Sultan then paid a visit to the offices of postgraduate students, where he was given an overview of the university’s most notable services for students from all over the country and the world.
He was given a presentation on the engineering model of the cuboid satellite ‘Sharjah Sat 1’ during his visit to the Mini-Satellite Laboratory. The workings of the cuboid satellite and its most notable features were explained to His Highness.
The planetarium has been updated and improved with cutting-edge technology, including eight primary projectors backed by gadgets that are among the most advanced of their type for planetarium projections and a star projector. The new platform supports both 4K and 8K resolutions.
The planetarium’s control system, which manages the lighting, sound, and image as well as the operation of all servers and display devices in the dome, was developed alongside a number of cutting-edge computer programmes and simulators that recreate the planetarium and the high-level scientific, educational, and technical events that take place there as well.
Since the Sharjah dome is a hybrid dome—combining digital display with a visual display that simulates the nature and brilliance of the star scene—the Japanese Mega Star system, the optical star projector located in the hall’s centre, has also undergone development in order to interconnect with the new system with high integration and synchronisation.
This innovative programme is available in the real world, alongside recreational laser show equipment, to people of all ages, including students of all levels.
The Birth of the Earth, Towards Mars: Towards a New Horizon, Beyond the Sun, Hunting Dark Matter: The Cosmic Ghost, and Astronomy by Colossal Dimensions are five new scientific films concerned with the sciences of space and astronomy, suitable for all ages, added to the previous eight shows.
The inauguration was attended by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, President of American University of Sharjah (AUS), Dr Khawla Abdulrahman Al Mulla, Chairperson of the Family Affairs Authority, Ali Salem Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah International Airport Authority, Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, and Ali bin Shaheen Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Public Works Department, Dr Mansour Muhammad bin Nassar, Head of the Legal Department of the Government of Sharjah, Omar bin Huraymel Al Shamsi, Head of the Human Resources Department, a number of local department directors, deputies of the University of Sharjah, faculty members, representatives of companies operating in the project, and students of the academy.