New Jersey Will Soon Be Home to the Largest Planetarium in the Hemisphere

Liberty Science Center
Liberty Science Center / Liberty Science Center

If all goes according to plan, the Garden State could soon become a must-visit destination for astronomy enthusiasts. The Liberty Science Center in Jersey City is upgrading their IMAX theater into what will be the Western hemisphere's largest planetarium by 2017, Engadget reports.

Since first opening in 1993, the science museum has grown into one of the state's most popular attractions. Trustee and former high school teacher Jennifer Chalsty recently donated $5 million to the center, and the gift will be used to fund the expansion.

Bigger is almost always better when it comes to planetariums. "It simulates the night sky a lot more," Liberty Science Center President and CEO Paul Hoffman told WCBS 880. When completed, the 88-foot-wide Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium will make the 36-foot Hayden Planetarium across the river in Manhattan seem pretty puny in comparison. But to view the largest celestial projections on earth, you'll have to go all the way to the Nagoya City Science Museum in Japan, where their dome stretches over 114 feet across. 

The Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium is expected to open to the public in December 2017.

[h/t Engadget]