Settlemyre Planetarium at the Museum of York County
The Museum of York County’s newly-renovated Settlemyre Planetarium features a Konica Minolta MediaGlobe-III (MG3) digital projection system. Renovations, which were completed in October 2012, were funded in part by York County Hospitality Tax. With state-of-the-art digital technology, the planetarium offers viewers unlimited travel beyond Earth’s bounds, throughout our entire Solar System and beyond from the comfort of their seats. A view of the night sky is shown after each program, presenting the pristine Carolina skies with the Milky Way and a multitude of stars that can be viewed in the absence of light pollution. The Settlemyre Planetarium offers a stellar array of new programs for public and school audiences as well as seasonal stargazing.
“Our planetarium is the only fully digital planetarium in the entire Charlotte metro area.” explains Carole Holmberg, manager of Settlemyre Planetarium. “We have planetarium shows five days each week on a variety of topics and we show the sky as it appears in the Carolinas after every show. Our Universe is an amazing place and I am proud to share my enthusiasm with our visitors.”
The Settlemyre Planetarium was established in 1977 and named in honor of former museum director and artist, J. Lee Settlemyre, Jr. His dedicated service from 1951 to 1974 inspired the vision for a museum and planetarium that welcomed all ages to explore the wonders of the natural world and the universe beyond. Since 1977, the planetarium has delivered space science educational programming to more than 410,000 individuals.
Settlemyre’s recent renovations also include new carpeting, seating, LED lighting, digital surround sound and repainting of the existing thirty-foot dome. Renovations were also made to the exterior of the planetarium, replacing cases installed in 1994. A new touch screen panel, graphics and photomural have been installed to tie into the theme of “Exploring the Carolina Skies and Beyond.” The wall mural shows the southern sky on a summer night in the Carolina Piedmont and portrays a lunar eclipse that will actually occur on May 16, 2022. The cost of renovations to the interior and exterior of the planetarium exceeds $300,000. Funding for the project has been provided by York County Hospitality Tax, The Well Fargo Foundation, Comporium, Blake T. Crook-Allstate, The Guild of the Museum of York County and Kathy and Larry Wilson.
“Back To The Moon For Good,” a newly-released fulldome planetarium show will premiere at the Settlemyre on Friday, March 21. Forty years after the historic Apollo landings, this 25-minute digital film ushers in a new era of lunar exploration, immersing spectators in the latest space race – a 30-million dollar private competition to land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon. Narrated by Tim Allen, “Back To The Moon For Good” presents the Google Lunar XPRIZE, and the personal stories of competition and collaboration it inspires.
“Back To The Moon For Good” will premiere on Friday, March 21 and run every Tuesday through Saturday at 3:30 p.m. until June 6. The family-friendly planetarium show is included with admission to the Museum of York County. A live sky tour, Carolina Skies, is offered on Saturdays at 2 pm. The planetarium is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The Museum of York County is located at 4621 Mt. Gallant Road in Rock Hill. For more information, please go to www.chmuseums.org or call 803/329-2121.