Adjacent high-powered telescopes at the Charleville Cosmos Centre, galaxial wonders await within the Astro Dome during the day.
Here, watch our sun and planet form or uncover once-classified WWII facts at the site’s beautiful new auditorium, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Its construction precedes a beautiful new Visitor Centre that’s underway, marking the region’s former top-secret US base.
Murweh Shire Council spokesperson Monique Johnson spills the good oil on Charleville’s growing attraction.
Council spent two years developing the attraction, says Monique.
“Wherever we could we tried to use Queensland businesses and local tradespeople.”
The dome-shape structure comprises canvas, brick, silk and steel lattice to withstand Charleville varying weather. The screen makers had to use enough silk cover a dome with a volume of 883 cubic meters.
“When it’s hot, everything expands; the canvas allows this to safely happen,” explains Monique.
“The roof is made from steel bars arranged in a criss-cross pattern. It looks almost tetris-like; from a distance you can see the diamond lattice on the canvas exterior.”
THREE DIFFERENT SHOWS
The auditorium comfortably seats 50 guests on purpose-built recliners, affording 180-degree views projected onto the dome-shaped ceiling.
To ensure every show is displayed at the highest possible quality, the planetarium crew use six massive projectors from Barco.
Murweh Shire Council commissioned ImmersaView to install these amazing projectors.
And, thanks to the efforts of the planetarium crew and technicians from Immersaview, this unique and inspiring planetarium now offers three daily shows–and a fourth special one as a back up to when the observatory experiences are cancelled due to weather.
THE OUTBACK SKY
Birth of Planet Earth and Beyond the Sun, designed for families, chart the formation of our own planet and the solar system.
“Our local astronomer Mike Dalley worked closely with the production company,” says Monique.
A third movie explores Charleville’s secret, significant role in Australia’s WWII history, offered as part of a tour.
CHARLEVILLE’S WWII ROLE
World 2 War, which explores Charleville’s Top Secret US base, provides essential context to Charleville’s newest tours Top Secret WWII Tour.
The film showcases historical reenactments, veteran accounts and unseen footage.
And, after a 30-minute screening, tour patrons can walk the grounds of Charleville’s top-secret US base, which operated from 1942 up until 1948, a short drive from the planetarium.
“[the base] was home to more than 3500 service personnel–at its peak,” Monique explains.
To capatilise on this only recently unveiled history, Council is building a new visitor centre under construction.
Charleville Cosmos and Planetarium has also expanded its after dark viewing, introducing a new 30in telescope housed within a specialised building
For those that don’t know, a 30in telescope means you will see the sky in a way you’ve never thought possible.
“This size leaves the realm of the usual day telescope, and instead, starts to climb into the dominating size used be researchers,” explains Monique.
“Objects like nebulae go from a simple cloud of gas to a detailed map of contours and depths.
“When you are looking through a telescope of this magnitude, you can be forgiven for forgetting that you are even still standing here, on planet Earth.”
Travellers to the Cosmos Centre can also gain celestial insights of the entire Universe by taking a “Space Walk” around the Centre. During this journey, you will experience the latest technology in interactives and be invited to immerse yourself in the knowledge of what has past, and what is to come, for our home and beyond.
For more information on Charleville, visit Experience Charleville here.