DOST Pagasa to launch Mindanao’s first planetarium

DOST Pagasa to launch Mindanao’s first planetarium
Contributed photo

THE Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-Pagasa) will launch the first planetarium in Mindanao on May 17, 2024 at Mindanao Pagasa Regional Services Division (MPRSD) Office in Molugan, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental.

Dignitaries from the province -- Misamis Oriental Second District Representative Yvegeny “Bambi” Emano, who supported this project when he was the governor of Misamis Oriental; Misamis Oriental Governor Peter “Sr Pedro” Unabia; and El Salvador Mayor Edgar Lignes will attend the event.

DOST Secretary Dr. Renato Solidum Jr., Undersecretary for Regional Operations Dr. Sancho A. Mabborang, Undersecretary for Special Concerns Dr. Teodoro Gachalian, and Pagasa Administrator Dr. Nathaniel Sirvando will also be present during the inauguration ceremony.

The inauguration will officially start the opening of the planetarium to viewers.

The planetarium aims to bring a world-class astronomical experience to Mindanao region, ideally for students, tourists, and space enthusiasts.

The planetarium contains the astronomical observatory, a large dome-shaped projection theater that shows constellations, planets, and various astronomical phenomena, a gallery hall, and a conference room.

The planetarium’s theater hall is built primarily for educational and entertainment shows about astronomy and the night sky.

“The planetarium is very beneficial, particularly for our elementary and high school students, as it helps them appreciate the science of astronomy. The theater-like dome will help students to have an opportunity to have an experience-based learning about our solar system, the universe, and the night sky,” said Virgilio Fuertes, DOST-Northern Mindanao assistant director for Technical Services.

During a site visit of the DOST-Northern Mindanao team conducted last April 17, 2024, Prince Wilson Au, the planetarium curator and lecturer, toured the team throughout the whole facility and showed the team a sample short video from the various educational videos that they will be screening inside the dome theater.

The facility also features a gallery where visitors can enjoy looking at and reading informative posters about astronomy.

The planetarium will accept reservations and bookings from the public beginning on May 20, 2024. It will be on a first come, first served basis.

Provide the necessary information along with the preferred date and time of visit. Corresponding fees will apply.

Requests can be sent to mprsdplanetarium@gmail.com and addressed to

Mr. Anthony Joseph R. Lucero, M.Sci.

Weather Services Chief

Mindanao Pagasa Regional Services Division

(PR)

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