08/12/2013 08:43 EDT | Updated 10/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Projectors bring Space Centre visitors to the stars

A new state of the art projection system at Vancouver's planetarium is attracting visitors and bringing them on a journey to the stars.

Staff the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre say the number of visitors has doubled since the new projector was installed last week.

Last year,1,500 people visited the planetarium during the first week of August. This week, 3,400 people came during the first week of August.

"The new system we have puts us in 'state of the art.' The old system we were falling behind the times,” said Rob Appleton, executive director of H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, adding that 70 per cent of the centre's budget comes from ticket sales.

The $500,000 upgrade includes six small video projectors that illuminate an expansive dome, projecting planets, stars and asteroids overhead and giving the illusion that the audience is travelling through space hundreds of times faster than the speed of light.

"This new technology that we have, that's what it allows us to do. It allows us to blast people around the entire known universe," said Jonathan Teague, a presenter and astronomy educator at the Space Centre.

"We can go within our solar system. We can go right to the very edges of the universe. Which as a presenter is absolutely fantastic to have a tool to show people the universe."