Institution(s): 1. University of Sharjah
The Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences (SCASS) was launched this year 2015 at the University of Sharjah in the UAE. The center will serve to enrich research in the fields of astronomy and space sciences, promote these fields at all educational levels, and encourage community involvement in these sciences. SCASS consists of:
The Planetarium: Contains a semi-circle display screen (18 meters in diameter) installed at an angle of 10° which displays high-definition images using an advanced digital display system consisting of seven (7) high-performance light-display channels. The Planetarium Theatre offers a 200-seat capacity with seats placed at highly calculated angles. The Planetarium also contains an enormous star display (Star Ball - 10 million stars) located in the heart of the celestial dome theatre.
The Sharjah Astronomy Observatory: A small optical observatory consisting of a reflector telescope 45 centimeters in diameter to observe the galaxies, stars and planets. Connected to it is a refractor telescope of 20 centimeters in diameter to observe the sun and moon with highly developed astronomical devices, including a digital camera (CCD) and a high-resolution Echelle Spectrograph with auto-giving and remote calibration ports.
Astronomy, space and physics educational displays for various age groups include:
An advanced space display that allows for viewing the universe during four (4) different time periods as seen by:1) The naked eye; 2) Galileo; 3) Spectrographic technology; and 4) The space technology of today.
A space technology display that includes space discoveries since the launching of the first satellite in 1940s until now.
The Design Concept for the Center (450,000 sq. meters) was originated by HH Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, and depicts the dome as representing the sun in the middle of the center surrounded by planetary bodies in orbit to form the solar system as seen in the sky.