OUR HISTORY

The Berea College Weatherford Planetarium was first set up in 1984. Equipped with a Minolta MS-10 projector, management and operation of the Weatherford Planetarium was part of the physics department at Berea College in Berea, KY. It housed an analog, opto-mechanical star projector supported by an ancillary system of 5 slide projectors, a video projectors and special effect projectors located around the circumference of the 30-feet diameter dome. Seating  51 people and it provided shows for school groups, home-school, and children outside of school, adults and students studying astronomy, navigation and space science.

The Weatherford Planetarium was capable of projecting more than 6000 stars at a time, by means of 16 lens assemblies and copper star plates. The color characteristics of more than 20 brightest stars were recreated and individual projectors were used to project the planets. The system was also capable of projecting the sky as it could be viewed from any spot on the earth at any latitude at any time. In addition, the projector could show the daily motion of the sky from east to west, the long term motion of the planets, and the 26000 year processional motion.

In August of 2018 the completion of the Margarett A. Cargill Natural Sciences and Health Building included with it a new planetarium with a digital projection dome. The new digital system is capable of projecting stars, planets, exoplanets and nebulae.