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The largest planetarium in the West is coming to New Jersey

Liberty Science Center should set a record when its planetarium is ready in 2017.

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If you want to see one of the biggest, boldest recreations of the night sky, you might only have to book a trip to New Jersey in the near future. Jersey City's Liberty Science Center says it's building the largest planetarium in the Western hemisphere, the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, thanks to a $5 million donation from its namesake. The move will upgrade the Center's massive IMAX dome theater (88 feet across) so that it can double as a planetarium, adding digital projection in the process. If all goes according to plan, it should be ready sometime in December 2017.

This won't be the largest planetarium in the world. That honor goes to the Nagoya City Science Museum's dome, whose 114-foot internal diameter makes the Liberty Science Center seem modest. Still, we're not about to knock this latest effort. It'll easily eclipse the nearby Hayden Planetarium in New York City (36 feet across), and it'll do wonders if it helps convey the wonders of space.

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