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  • NC Section History

By A Web Design

KELLY PLANETARIUM AT DISCOVERY PLACE

Charlotte, North Carolina

Take a visit to anywhere in the solar system at the Kelly Planetarium at the Discovery Place located at 301 N. Tryon Street in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Spitz Space Voyager Starball, which accurately projects 10,164 stars with their correct size, color and brightness, is at the heart of the planetarium.  Additionally, it has 40 slide projectors capable of creating beautiful full screen panoramas, five planet projectors and over 20 special effects projectors.  Located in uptown Charlotte, this domed planetarium was opened to the public in the fall of 1990 with the architectural firm of Hepler, Hall & Associates teaming up with structural engineers at O'Dell Associates, Inc. to complete the design.  The planetarium's walls and columns are supported on a shallow concrete foundation system.  The primary structural roof system consists of composite steel beams and concrete slab with spans up to 60'.  The dome is not a part of the primary structural system, rather it is an internal dome located approximately 10' below the roof.  The dome consists primarily of curved aluminum plates and is used as a large projections screen.  Due to the nature of the events held in the planetarium an acoustical consultant performed several studies in order to make recommendations to the structural engineers for maximum acoustical performance during shows.  The engineers were required to thicken the walls and add mass to the roof in order to meet the consultant's requests.

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