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Montreal Planetarium gears up for Saturday opening

04/04/2013 11:13 EDT | Updated 06/04/2013 05:12 EDT
Politicians and local dignitaries were invited for a sneak peek today at Montreal’s new planetarium, set to open officially on Saturday, April 6.

The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium is the latest addition to Montreal’s Space for Life facilities, which also include the Biodome, Botanical Gardens and Insectarium.

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum said the opening of the planetarium marks a defining moment for the Space for Life -- and represents a “valuable scientific instrument.”

The new $48-million complex includes a unique “full immersion” multimedia space – the Chaos theatre. Inside, viewers lie on the ground to gaze up at the shows, which are projected across a dome-like screen.

The theatre's opening show is Continuum, a multimedia journey through space and time.

Michel Lemieux, one of Continuum's creators, says the show is “a child’s dream come true.”

For a close-up view of the night sky, visitors can also check out the Milky Way theatre. Some 60 deep-sky objects, including star clusters, galaxies and nebulae appear on screen.

The facility also houses an exhibition hall, three workshop rooms and Quebec’s largest collection of meteorites -- 300 in total.

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