Chamber Coffee Attendees Learn More About Planetarium Laser, Virtual Reality Systems



WAYNE – Laser shows, Virtual Reality and a song pertaining to the City of Wayne were all showcased Friday morning during a weekly chamber coffee event.

From the lower level of the Carhart Science Building, community members visited the Fred G. Dale Planetarium on October 22.

It’s been 10 years since the renovation at the Planetarium and Dr. Todd Young, Director, said before you could only see the night sky and a few special effects.

“Now we can look at the night sky from Earth, from Mars, from Jupiter, from a distant galaxy,” said Young. “We can fly backward and forward in time, land on just about any body that we want. The universe has opened up and that’s why I like to say this is a gateway to everywhere.”

The Planetarium was built with the building in 1969 before the renovation in 2010. Fifty comfortable seats were installed along with a new digital projection system that could put three million pixels on the dome.

The new laser system also has a production suite where pre-made shows can be played but also students can make their own graphics. During Chamber Coffee, a ‘One Song’ Laser Show was created as a tribute to Wayne.

Young, who is a professor of physics and astronomy at WSC, added the Fred G. Dale Planetarium should be thought of as a resource as well as an entertainment place.

“Like I said even now with the laser system and then really with the VR systems the we have,” Young added. “Come in and you know have fun and learn something at the same time. This is still I think one of the most under-utilized spaces not only on campus but in Wayne.”

Weekend shows include a planetarium and laser show each night. Friday night’s Planetarium Show will be ‘A Photon’s Journey Through Time, Space and Mind’ at 7 p.m. followed by ‘Laser Halloween’ at 8 p.m. Saturday’s Planetarium Show will be ‘Skywatchers of Africa’ at 1 p.m. followed by ‘Laser Halloween’ at 2 p.m.

Visit for more information.

Amy Topp, UNL Extension Education in Wayne County will join Luke Virgil, WAED Executive Director for Chamber Percs on Friday, October 30 (no in-person coffee). The event will start at 10:15 a.m. on the Wayne, NE Facebook page.