Travel Unique outdoor planetarium opens in Quebec

19:56  30 june  2018
19:56  30 june  2018 Source:   msn.com

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National Geographic will begin welcoming visitors to the world's first outdoor planetarium in Quebec , Canada, where an #augmentedreality experience overlaid on the night sky will replace the projection systems of traditional facilities. https

Sit mountainside and explore the stars in Quebec ’s first open -air AR planetarium . ObservEtoiles is an ambitious outdoor AR experience that will explore the solar system and bring 17 century illustrations, constellations, and the names of the stars and planets to life as you explore the skies

a crowd of people in the sky© Provided by thecanadianpress.com

MONTREAL - Jeremy Fontana was always getting questions from guests about the stars in the night sky above his outdoor retreat in Quebec's Eastern Townships.

So he decided to find a way that would help star struck visitors understand the mysteries of the heavens above.

"If you could look at the real sky and, at the same time know what you were looking at, it would be perfect," Fontana said in an interview from the Au Diable Vert resort in Glen Sutton, Que.

So about two years ago, Fontana connected with Andrew Fazekas, a science writer and educator to create ObservEtoiles, an outdoor planetarium that uses augmented reality.

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Recreating the universe and movements of the sky, the Planetarium has produced over 250 astronomy shows since its 1966 opening . In association with the Montreal Planterium is the Société d'Astronomie du Planétarium de Montréal, the largest amateur astronomy club in Quebec .

Au Diable Vert Station Montagne is excited to announce the creation of the world’s first open air augmented reality planetarium , opening in spring 2018. Au Diable Vert is an award-winning and totally unique four-season outdoor center located in Glen Sutton, Quebec ’s beautiful Eastern

"It's never been done before," Fontana said. "It's totally pioneering."

Visitors sit in an open-air Roman-style amphitheatre with 180 heated seats built into the side of a mountain at an altitude of 365 metres.

The 90-minute show currently held weekly on Saturdays begins with a virtual trip through the solar system followed by a detailed tour of the actual night sky.

Using a special headset, they look up and view illustrated images of stars and constellations which overlap the actual night-time sky.

"As you turn your head around, the constellations appear and disappear, but they're superimposed over the real stars," Fontana said. "That's really the essence of the augmented reality, you've got both things happening at the same time."

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The Montreal Planetarium - launched originally in 1966 as part of the Montreal Expo - re- opened in 2013 after two years Tips for Visiting. ••• The Montreal Planetarium is a family friendly attraction that offers a unique experience Further discounts are offered to students, seniors, and Quebec residents.

The Montreal Planetarium (formerly the Dow Planetarium ) is a decommissioned public planetarium located at Chaboillez Square just North-East of downtown Montreal, Quebec , Canada.

As an astronomer provides a laser-guided tour, the Greek and Roman mythology upon which the constellations are patterned are also explained.

Fazekas developed the show's concept and content and also brought National Geographic on board as partner.

The entrepreneurs hope to expand the concept elsewhere.

"I'm bringing in the educational and science aspect (and) National Geographic is bringing in their networking muscle and their worldwide branding," he said.

"To be outdoors under a truly dark sky filled with countless numbers of stars is a really humbling experience and then to have this technology really unlock some of the mysteries of the night sky ... it's unlike anything that's out there."

The experience is additionally enhanced because the southern-facing location was only recently designated a "Dark Sky Preserve" by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. It's only the second such preserve in Quebec after Mont-Megantic, home to an observatory.

"It allows you to see a lot more stars than you would in light-polluted areas," Fazekas said.

Cloudy skies won't stop the night sky show, which starts as soon as it gets dark.

As a science communicator, Fazekas said he really wants to excite young people — "the next generation of astronomers, astronauts, mathematicians and engineers."

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On the web: www.observetoiles.com

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