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Major Contribution From The Chickasaw Nation Fuels Exciting Advancement at Science Museum Oklahoma

October 2, 2023

Renderings of the new Love's Planetarium 

Science Museum Oklahoma is thrilled to announce a significant contribution that is propelling our mission to new heights and enabling us to offer exceptional scientific experiences to our community.

In a demonstration of their dedication to the future of science education, The Chickasaw Nation has made an extraordinary contribution of $1.5 million to the One Giant Leap Capital campaign. These funds will substantially contribute to the creation of the Love’s Planetarium, a state-of-the-art facility that promises to be a celestial gem.

“This remarkable gift from The Chickasaw Nation exemplifies the profound impact that collaboration between organizations and communities can have on the world of science, education and exploration,” said Science Museum Oklahoma President Sherry Marshall. “Together, we are reaching for the stars and inspiring the next generation of scientists, thinkers and dreamers."

Building on the demonstrated enthusiasm for astronomy education and the staff’s capacity to produce innovative programming, The Love’s Planetarium will provide Oklahomans with the educational venue that has been 40 years in the making. The addition of the optical projector with the digital system will produce 9,500 bright stars, 56 nebulae and clusters for binocular viewing, and approximately 8 million detailed stars to recreate the Milky Way, all with high intensity LEDs and fiber optics. Once complete, the new planetarium will be the only one of its type with the combination of projection systems in North or South America, the closest being in Shanghai China.

The new dome will present high resolution images in the striking detail as they are intended and provide audiences with a realistic night sky free of light pollution – something many people never experience outside a planetarium. Audiences will have unobstructed views of the presentation from seats individually calibrated for optimum viewing. It’s more than just stars, the new location accommodates innovative performances and offers more interactivity with space that can be used by musicians, featured presenters, early childhood programming, special events, etc. Through enhanced live and virtual planetarium programming, educators and leaders from all communities can work with Science Museum Oklahoma to tailor the educational experience to best meet their needs.

The Love’s Planetarium is slated to open its doors in the Fall of 2024. It will provide an unparalleled space for visitors to explore the mysteries of the universe by bringing the cosmos closer to our community.