Astronomer Dr Alastair Bruce has been appointed as planetarium manager at five star experience, Dynamic Earth.
Alastair joins Dynamic Earth from the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, where he has been based since 2013. The new role has been created as the attraction starts work on a £500k project, which will see the popular ShowDome become the UK’s first and only Digistar 6K planetarium.
With a background in science and a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Edinburgh, Alastair is very well-equipped for the role. He is a researcher for the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and initially trained as an actor, which provided him with an excellent grounding for public speaking.
As part of his role and with the creation of the planetarium, Alastair will be developing and presenting new, bespoke fulldome shows, which will be screened at the attraction later in the year.
Alastair said: ‘Anyone who has met me knows I’m very enthusiastic about all things related to astronomy and Earth-science. To be able to join the amazing team at Dynamic Earth and add my voice to theirs is a dream come true.
‘The new and improved planetarium will allow us to do so much, my head is buzzing with the possibilities. The high resolution system will offer stunning views of the night sky, completely free of Scottish weather and light pollution.
‘In addition to bringing the Milky Way to those that otherwise wouldn’t be able to see it, the system is powerful enough to do so much more. We’ll be able to include real research data and views from cutting-edge missions to study the Earth, our Solar System and beyond. I can’t wait to get started and see the reaction from visitors.’
John Simpson, chief executive officer at Dynamic Earth, added: ‘This is a significant step for us at Dynamic Earth, and something we’ve been keen to develop for a while. Thanks to support from The Robertson Trust, Leidos and other key funders and donors, we’ve almost reached our funding target for the planetarium project, which means that we’re now able to get started on it.
‘Alastair is the ideal person to take the project forward. As well as being incredibly knowledgeable, he’s passionate and engaging, which will really add to the experience. We are delighted to welcome him to the team and look forward to seeing him inspire visitors of all ages in this exciting new role.’
Work on the state-of-art planetarium is set to begin later this month, and is expected to be complete by this summer.