Hayden Planetarium Reopens With Upgraded Screen

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As of today, the Hayden Planetarium’s Space Theater, which has been closed for renovations since mid-August, is open again, and we've made a few improvements you won’t want to miss. 

Hayden Space Show

The Planetarium's new screen will make Space Shows even more immersive.

© AMNH


While the updates include new carpet and refurbished seats, the main attraction in the 429-seat theater is a state-of-the-art new screen that ensures the Hayden Planetarium’s award-winning Space Shows are displayed to their full advantage.

The Space Theater’s last screen, which was installed in 2000, was a limiting optical factor for the dome, says Director of Rose Center Engineering Benjy Bernhardt. That was due to the small but noticeable seams that held it together. The new screen is built from thin sheets of aluminum and coated with powder to give it a startling white hue that makes it an ideal backdrop for planetarium projections. It is also held together by invisible “nanoseams” that make each of the pieces flush with one another, rather than overlapping. That means that when a projection is shown on the dome, the seams disappear entirely, creating a fuller sense of reality and immersion for viewers.

While the theater's doors have been closed for the installation of the new screen, other upgrades have been going in too, all supported by the Charles Hayden Foundation. A new LED lighting system has been installed to cut heat generation and energy costs for lighting the dome, and the projector is getting an update as well.

Dark Universe Hayden

The Space Show Dark Universe explores the phenomena of dark matter and dark energy.

© AMNH


The reopened theater is coming back with a bang—the Big Bang, in fact, as The Museum’s latest Space Show, Dark Universe, returns to view. In Dark Universe, astrophysicist and Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium Neil deGrasse Tyson is your guide on a trip through space and time, from the Big Bang to a telescope in modern-day California. The destination: two recently discovered, and still mysterious, phenomena in astrophysics—dark matter and dark energy. Finding out more about dark energy and dark matter is key to understanding the nature of the world we live in. 

In stunning scenes based on scientific data—including a NASA probe’s breathtaking plunge into Jupiter’s atmosphere and groundbreaking visualizations of unobservable dark matter—Dark Universe explores this new age of cosmic discovery and reveals the mysteries that have been brought to light so far.