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 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