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The Bridge visits the Planetarium

By Neguif Angeles
On January 31, 2012


Ever wondered what the big shaped crystal pyramid is?  Texas A&M International University is one of the few universities in Texas to count with its own planetarium.  The Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium is located at TAMIU'sscience center, shows deal with astronomy, biology, earth science, history, and entertainment shows such as rock on demand; which can be enjoyed by all ages. There are four different showings every Saturday, the shows take place at 4 p.m, 5 p.m, 6 p.m and 7 p.m.  Admission is $4.00 dollars for children ages (2-11), seniors citizens ages (62+), TAMIU students, faculty and staff and general admission $5.00 for adults.


The experience of being inside the planetarium is unique; there are no words that can explain the extraordinary emotions you feel once you step in it. When you sit down and the show is about to start the lights slowly fade away until the room is completely dark. Then you start to see images everywhere around you, the screen is all around the ceiling. The planetarium uses a very sophisticated and a one of a kind technology, like state-of-the-art 21st Century digital instrument, digistar 3. They use equipment such as slide projectors, special effects projectors,  and slew-able video projectors. The Director of the planetarium, Gerardo Perez, talked about its great technology and how it's more than a simple planetarium. Gerardo stated, "It's a lot more than a planetarium, it's more like an immercion theatre, because of the digital technology that we have it allows us to branch out to other areas besides astronomy."  


While you are watching the show, you feel like you enter into a new dimension where you forget that you are sitting down in a room watching a movie. The experience of actually sitting down and getting to experience a show is phenomenal. Once the show starts you are engaged by everything you see around you, chills run down through your body when things rapidly move from place to place, or the speed at which they move makes you feel like if you were actually in that certain place. There is a feel of 3D vision when you are watching the show, due to the good quality of the resolution the system gives off in the screen, creating that feel of adventure.


Perez stated, "Our main purpose is to educate the public, as well as the university community, we are trying to light that spark especially in thesciences." A planetarium can be misjudged as boring and dull since most of them are aimed toward education and its main purpose is to teach, but it is actually very exciting to experience a show. There are shows that can be very educational but they are still fun and very animated.  The information that is portrayed is given to the public in such a different way. One in that you do not even notice you are learning something while you are enjoying yourself watching the show.


Therefore next time you are at TAMIU and you are thinking of something fun to do, you could try and pay a visit to the planetarium, enjoy a great show, learn, and enjoy some popcorn and candy just like in the movies.  If you want more information about the TAMIU planetarium you can listen to the whole interview below and learn about its history and unique features. You can also find information by going to the TAMIU site online and clicking on theplanetarium picture.  Feel free to leave your comments


(Neguif Angeles may be reached at,

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