The Center for Earth and Space Science Education (CESSE) Planetarium has undergone a major expansion and renovation of its facilities on the main campus of Tyler Junior College (TJC).
Originally opened in 1963 as the Hudnall Planetarium, the planetarium was named in honor of Jimmy Hudnall who made numerous and sizeable contributions to its development. The planetarium featured a 30-foot diameter dome for sky projections.
The new Center for Earth and Space Science Education (CESSE) Planetarium on the campus of Tyler Junior College in Tyler (TylerTexasOnline staff photo)
The new CESSE planetarium, opened in September of 2011, retains the trademark Georgian Colonial red brick architecture used in other TJC buildings.
The facility features a state-of-the-art high-resolution digital projection system, a new 40-foot diameter theater, new exhibit space, additional classroom and instructional space, and outdoor educational plazas.
The new theater is equipped with Digistar 4, the latest in digital projection technology. TJC is one of only two facilities in Texas to utilize this new system – and one of only 50 worldwide. Similar to IMAX, the Digistar 4 offers giant-screen transfer capabilities that can present not only astronomy and other science-based programming but also expansion into geography and history.
Digistar 4 is the world's best-selling and most advanced fulldome digital theater system. With Digistar the emphasis is not on the technology but on flexible storytelling tools to customize presentations to any audience. Digistar 4 contains the known universe in three-dimensional real time computer graphics.
Other shows that have been offered at the planetarium include "Supervolcanoes" and "Tornado Alley" as well as other exciting, educational features.
The CESSE is a "don't miss" Tyler attraction.
Each year the planetarium serves between 15,000 and 20,000 school children, college students, and East Texas adults.
Established in 1926 as part of the Tyler Public School System, Tyler Junior College (TJC) provides to area residents an opportunity for higher education in a local environment.
The College now has an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students each Fall semester. In addition, about 15,000 persons enroll in TJC continuing education courses each year.
The campus has expanded over the years and includes a number of highly respected venues, including the the Tyler Museum of Art, CESSE, and others. Read more on the TJC website
Jenkins Hall at Tyler Junior College
(TylerTexasOnline staff photo)