This model has been discontinued. Please see our current models.

Product Overview

A planetarium helps students grasp abstract astronomical concepts and can spark enjoyment and interest in science. The Digitarium Alpha portable digital planetarium projector is a breakthrough in price and performance, putting a full-featured planetarium within reach.

Set up the projector and a Digitalis inflatable dome in a gym for an instant planetarium. Portability and ease of set up and use allow you to share one system and its cost with other area institutions.

The Digitarium Alpha is also a great choice for fixed domes up to approximately 26 feet/8 meters in diameter, offering an enormous range of features at a fraction of the cost of other fixed dome projectors.

Think of the possibilities of having your own easy to use, full-featured planetarium at your disposal. Avoid the headache and expense of organizing a fieldtrip to an off-site planetarium. You can use your projector as often as you need to cover your subject matter fully, and you can tailor your lessons to your students.

The Digitarium Alpha projector offers advanced features to excite and engage your students. Zoom in on and label any object; demonstrate annual motion; display constellations; and much more. The projector's vast capabilities make it relevant for audiences of all ages. Project your own content on any subject.

The Digitarium Alpha projector, due to its digital technology, is significantly more powerful than analog ("pinhole") portable planetariums you may be familiar with. Think of the power of a computer versus a slide projector.

The Digitarium Alpha projector is a significant price breakthrough for a digital projector. Although more expensive than most portable analog projectors, we believe it to be a huge value proposition, as you are getting the features of modern digital planetariums at a small fraction of the cost.

Portable, affordable, and flexible, the Digitarium Alpha will revolutionize your astronomy teaching.

Benefits and Features

Capable

  • Demonstrate beginning through advanced astronomy concepts.
  • Move forward or backward in time at varying speeds.
  • Show annual motion, including retrograde planetary motion. (No portable analog system can demonstrate annual motion!)
  • Show the effects of precession of the equinoxes over time.
  • Simulate celestial phenomena such as transits, eclipses, and meteor showers.
  • Display orbits of the planets.
  • Display paths of the planets against the stars.
  • Display ecliptic, celestial equator, meridian, and equatorial and azimuthal grids.
  • Show the entire celestial sphere with ONE piece of equipment.
  • Experience atmospheric effects, such as sunsets or a blue sky (or turn off the atmosphere to view the stars during the day).
  • Zoom in on or label items of interest.
  • View actual images of more than 100 deep space objects in situ.
  • Show constellation outlines, names, and artwork one at a time or all at once.
  • Show constellations from multiple cultures (currently Western, Polynesian, Chinese, Navajo, and ancient Egyptian).
  • Label the sky in different languages, including Hawaiian.
  • Easily project your own image or video content using the integrated DVD drive.
  • Use the video-in port to project other applications from a separate computer, if desired.
  • Play fulldome video or use scripting to create your own shows, short segments, or special effects.
  • Easy, automated software upgrades over the Internet keep you up to date with the latest features.

Portable and Compact

  • One projector does it all. Stop lugging around constellation projectors, slide projectors, multiple cylinders, etc.
  • Remote control with backlit buttons works from anywhere in the dome. No need to hover over the projector and block your audience's view.

Quick and easy

  • Our unique backlit handheld remote control is the easiest interface to learn and use. No separate computer or extensive training is required.
  • Plug it in, turn it on, and you're ready to project in about one minute.
  • Start up to your default settings for latitude, longitude, sky time, and more.
  • Automatic positioning and phasing of celestial objects.
  • It's so straightforward, you don't need to be an astronomer to run it!

Dependable

  • Low maintenance.
  • Two year limited warranty.
  • Countdown of projector bulb life helps avoid the surprise of a burned out bulb.
Cost Effective
  • Modern fixed planetarium features at a fraction of the cost.
  • The Digitarium Alpha can do it all. Don't waste your resources on equipment with limited functionality and potential.
  • Opportunity to generate extra revenue introducing the Digitarium Alpha to other interested organizations through our Customer Referral Program.

Specifications

Digitarium Alpha projector remote control transit case
Angle of projection
175 degrees
Field of view
180 degrees (full sky)
Resolution
768 pixels across a diameter
Pixels per degree of sky
4.2 average
Maximum Dome Diameter
Approximately 26 feet. Brightness is the main issue, since the larger the dome, the larger the surface area the light from the projector must cover.
Projection type
DLP
Image Quality
A complete lens redesign released in November, 2004 has significantly improved image quality compared to the original lens design.

Violet chromatic aberration is present, however we do not believe that this will distract from your teaching. This is a tradeoff in the interest of an affordable system.

Bulb life
2000 hours (replacement bulbs cost $400)
Power
100-240 VAC 50/60Hz 5-2A
Regulatory
FCC Class B, UL Listed, CE
Dimensions
Projector: 14 x 14.25 x 14.75 inches (35.6 x 36.2 x 37.5 cm)
Transit case: 20 x 20 x 20 inches (50.8 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm)
Weight
Projector: 41 pounds/18.6 kg
Transit case: 20 pounds/9.1 kg

Both are ruggedly built for extensive daily use. The transit case top doubles as a stand for the projector in a portable dome environment.

User Interface
Most interaction with the projector is with a hand-held remote control, much like a TV remote. The primary remote is backlit for use in a dark dome, and buttons are labeled with icons. This remote controls all aspects of the sky, your settings, and multi-media display.

A secondary remote is used less frequently, and is used to turn on and off the projection lamp and check or reset remaining bulb life. This remote also has a laser pointer embedded in it.

No keyboard, mouse, monitor, or laptop is used. Using a remote control, all commands are at your fingertips anywhere in the dome.

Stars
100,000+
Software
The planetarium software used is Stellarium, an open source program. Please download a copy if you are curious. We use a slightly modified version to work specifically with our lens configuration. Other differences include higher resolution images, some additional constellation artwork, and more deep space objects than the standard version of Stellarium.

Underlying everything is the open source Linux operating system, although this is completely hidden from you.

Multimedia Support
For increased flexibility, the Digitarium Alpha allows you to project your own video or images. Simply burn your files to a recordable CD-ROM or DVD-ROM, and pop it into the drive in the projector. Use the remote control to browse the directory structure on your disk, and select videos or images to view. Most video and image formats are supported.

This feature opens up your dome to any topic you might want to explore, even other subject areas besides astronomy. Free videos and images on countless topics are available on many websites, and you can also purchase third party pre-recorded planetarium shows.

Audio (for video soundtracks) is supplied through an audio jack on the projector. Good sound quality can be achieved with standard PC-type amplified speakers that you supply.

A video-in port allows you to project from a separate computer should you need to. This gives you complete projection control if you have special requirements.

Additional Information

Dome Shots give you an idea of what can be projected.
Comments from Educators on the Digitarium Alpha.
Feature Comparison to other portable planetarium projectors.

Purchasing Information


Purchase includes:
  • One Digitarium Alpha planetarium projector with set of two remote controls
  • Transit case
  • User manual
  • Set of 12 lesson plans for use with elementary through high school students
  • Two year limited warranty
  • Technical support
Please note: you supply your own dome. The Digitalis dome is one option. Please use our purchase page to order.

Updated April 20, 2005