Behind the scenes: Get lost in the night sky at the Adventure Science Center

Weekend Extra

From Kacey Musgraves to The Beatles, the Adventure Science Center has it all.

It’s home to a piece of equipment that is the only one of its kind in the United States.

Couple that with 13,000 watts of sound and you’ve got a science center fit for Music City.

“If you drive past our building on the interstate, you may have noticed a giant, white pyramid that’s lit up in all sorts of different colors at night. Inside that pyramid is home to our planetarium,” and according to Planetarium Manager Derrick Rohl, you can think of a planetarium as a theater to sweep you through all the different corners of the universe… with a Nashville twist.

“Most recently, Kacey Musgraves released her Golden Hour album with us right here in the dome,” remarked Rohl.

“The Dome” is Rohl’s home away from home, “I tell people, I’m still teaching science, I just have the coolest classroom you’ve ever seen.”

A classroom that boasts 2,000 events a year, everything from powerpoint presentations on the dome to weddings.

“Sometimes you get your standard classical music, beautiful and refined,” explains Rohl, “Other times, people go full-on sci-fi, you’ve got all the different theme songs from different sci-fi movies and TV shows.”

The core of the Planetarium is a state-of-the-art piece of equipment meant to highlight the wonders of the night sky.

“Our star projector is the only one of its kind in the United States,” states Rohl. “It’s actually only one of four. Numbers one, two and three are in Japan and if you look down in the pit, our serial number is four.”

That projector took the night sky from 2,400 stars to 6.5 million, which makes this night sky look just like the real deal.

And the wonder of it all is not lost on Rohl.

“When we’re late to meetings, it’s ’cause we were just doing this!” chuckles Rohl.

But the dome structure has its challenges.

“It’s got billions of holes if you look across the whole surface. Normally you would think of a screen in a movie theater as being flat and stretched out. We have to use aluminum and get it bent just right to get that nice hemisphere shape so that you don’t really see the screen, you just get lost in it when you’re seeing a show here,” Rohl quips.

Get lost in the night sky, right in your own backyard.

For a full list of events, visit www.adventuresci.org

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