Plan­e­tar­ium Set To Open in Oc­to­ber

The sci­en­tific, tech­no­log­i­cal, and cul­tural cen­ter is sched­uled to light up the skies next month and will in­clude ex­hibits about the as­tro­nom­i­cal knowl­edge of the Maya and the penin­sula’s bio­di­ver­sity

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - News In Brief - BY JOE MAL­DON­ADO

The Playa del Car­men Plan­e­tar­ium will open its doors to the public; it will be the fourth plan­e­tar­ium in Quin­tana Roo. The plan­e­tar­ium will join the State Net­work of As­tro­nom­i­cal Ob­ser­va­to­ries, as gen­eral di­rec­tor Víc­tor Al­cér­reca Sánchez of the Quin­tana Roo Coun­cil for Science and Tech­nol­ogy ex­plained.

This plan­e­tar­ium will have a pro­jec­tion room for 95 peo­ple, with a cupola of 15 me­ters across, in which a 2D screen will be in­stalled. It will also have an au­di­to­rium for 190 peo­ple, and a room for mu­seum ex­hibits about the cul­ture and as­tro­nom­i­cal knowl­edge of the Maya and the rich­ness of the bio­di­ver­sity of the Yu­catan Penin­sula.

It will have a cut­ting edge pro­jec­tion sys­tem to show the stars on a per­fo­rated alu­minum screen of 12 me­ters. It will also have two learn­ing ar­eas, as Al­cér­reca Sánchez re­lated, it wouldn’t be a plan­e­tar­ium with­out a sci­en­tific, tech­no­log­i­cal, and cul­tural com­plex. In ad­di­tion to be­ing able to en­joy as­tron­omy in both the dome and ob­ser­va­tory, visi­tors can en­joy sci­en­tific con­fer­ences and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties in the au­di­to­rium.

The plan­e­tar­ium was orig­i­nally slated to be ready in Au­gust, but it won’t be ready for visi­tors un­til Oc­to­ber. Cur­rently, the tech­no­log­i­cal equip­ment is un­der de­vel­op­ment.

The name of the plan­e­tar­ium will be Sayab, mean­ing never-end­ing spring. The name was se­lected through a sur­vey given to lo­cals in which four op­tions were given. When the Maya were build­ing a well, they looked for the sayab, which made the wa­ter sup­ply durable and sus­tain­able. The sayab re­minds us of knowl­edge, which is an un­quench­able thirst for the de­vel­op­ment of mankind.

The three other names in the sur­vey were P’úul Ja’, Lu’umil Ja’ and Xa­man Ja’.

P’úul Ja’: mean­ing wa­ter jar. Some cenotes have the form of a wa­ter jar, and this rep­re­sents wa­ter and life; it is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Ix­chel, Maya god­dess of fer­til­ity, who is usu­ally de­picted pour­ing wa­ter onto the earth to wa­ter it and make it fer­tile.

Lu’umil Ja’: mean­ing land of wa­ter. On planet Earth, wa­ter is the most im­por­tant thing and must be taken care of, be­cause it is life giv­ing.

Y Xa­man Ja’: mean­ing wa­ter from the north. In Pre­his­panic times, Playa del Car­men was called Xa­man Ja’ and it was the place where the Maya be­gan their pil­grim­age to the Ix­chel sanc­tu­ary in Cozumel.

There is now a con­test open for stu­dents, de­sign­ers, and Quin­tana Roo res­i­dents in gen­eral to de­sign the logo of the plan­e­tar­ium.

For the con­struc­tion of the Plan­e­tar­ium, $51.1 mil­lion pe­sos was in­vested, with the sup­port of the Na­tional Coun­cil of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (Cona­cyt).

On Thurs­day Au­gust 20th, the third plan­e­tar­ium of the state of Quin­tana Roo, opened in Cozumel, un­der the name Cha’an Ka’an. The first be­ing in Chetu­mal, plan­e­tar­ium Yook’ol Kaab, and the sec­ond, Ka’ Yok’ in Can­cun.

The plan­e­tar­ium will join the State Net­work of As­tro­nom­i­cal Ob­ser­va­to­ries, as gen­eral di­rec­tor Víc­tor Al­cér­reca Sánchez of the Quin­tana Roo Coun­cil for Science and Tech­nol­ogy ex­plained.

Playa’s plan­e­tar­ium will be the fourth in the state, af­ter Chetu­mal, Can­cun and Cozumel. / Photo:Unidad del Vo­cero

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