From November 23rd 2012 until February 11th 2013, you can experience interstellar travel right here in Tokyo!

With the opening of Star Cruise Planetarium in Roppongi Hills, you can travel to a station on Saturn and see the Earth 137 light years into the future thanks to a wide-screen 3D display and a moving model of the solar system.  It all happens at the Mori Arts Center Gallery, in the Mori Tower on the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills.

This Star Cruise Planetarium is a new and improved version of one held two years ago, also for a three-month period, where 45 thousand visitors enjoyed the experience of the ‘walk through space’ atmosphere.  It can now be enjoyed once more with the new elements of a moving solar galaxy model and wide-screen, allowing people to experience “traveling beyond space and time.”

The planetarium was designed by Takayuki Ohiro, a Japanese engineer who created the Megastar, a planetarium projector which was recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for the planetarium projecting the most stars in the world.

planetarium projector

Mr. Ohiro gave his thoughts behind the new Star Cruise Planetarium:

“The romanticism of the dream of space travel goes without saying.  But it doesn’t end with the romance of it.  Even the most everlasting stars we see in the sky will some day die out only to make way for the beginning of a new star.  The star which scatters into particles and gasses will become the beginning of life for a new one.  We, as human inhabitants of the universe are also made from the elements. We are a part of the constant birth, growth, and change of all things under the sun.  Maybe the reason we wish upon stars is because we feel they represent the mysteries of life.  As you enjoy your space voyage with Star Cruise planetarium, perhaps you can catch a glimpse of the wonders of life hidden in the stars.  I hope you will try this special space travel available through the winter months.”

The Mori Arts Center Gallery is organized into four parts.

The spaceship bound for Saturn’s satellite station

In “Trip to Saturn Station,” visitors board a spaceship which takes off for Titan, the satellite station which orbits Saturn.  The window screen from the spaceship shows the spectacular views of  Earth, its moon, Mars, and Saturn.

Then there is the “New 3D Sky Walk:”

Stroll through one end of our galaxy to the other and survey all that it is composed of-in 3D!  You can see the Earth, light years away into the future with “The Return to the Unknown Earth,”  and finally “The Majestic Starlit Sky,” which uses the MEGASTAR system.

The starlit sky by Megastar

You can also enjoy the real night sky from the roof of the Mori Tower, 52 stories and 250m up in the air. Over the course of the event, astronomers will visit to give talks on the roof so visitors can learn a little about the starts as they enjoy the sky line of Tokyo at night.

Enjoy the real night sky on the sky deck of the Mori Tower

You can also even grab cosmos-themed refreshments at the lounge or coffee shop:

A starry drink!

■ Information
November 23 – February 11, 2013

Hours: Mon-Thu 11:00~22:00, Fri-Sat, day before holiday ~23:00, Dec 31-Jan 3 ~22:00
Price: 2000 yen adult, 1500 yen high school – university, 800 yen junior high school and below, 
Check the Roppongi Hills Homepage for more information

Souce: ITmedia
Inset images: RoppongiHillsWikipedia