It has been three years since the Charles W. Brown Planetarium, the state's largest planetarium, opened on campus. Now, the old space is getting an upgrade. 

The old planetarium space is being repurposed into a Fulldome Media Production Lab that will be used to create, test and edit content for the Charles W. Brown Planetarium and other planetariums around the world as a "production dome," said Dayna Thompson, assistant planetarium director. 

“Planetarium production had been a thing at Ball State for many years, but with the new planetarium technology we are able to create what are called fulsome programs," Thompson said.

The lab is a collaborative production studio between the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts lab and the Department of Physics and Astronomy, according to bsu.edu

Along with helping students learn the technology, it will also be used to create productions that will help generate money for the school. Ball State created the show “Saturn and Beyond,” which was recently sold to a distribution company for $18,000.

The old planetarium will mainly be used to test future productions that will be shown in the Charles W. Brown Planetarium. Having a space to create and test will be valuable for the future of their productions, Thompson said. 

“These programs consist of visuals that cover the entire dome and therefore require testing on an actual dome surface,” she said. “We were able get the same software set-up that we have in the planetarium, so there are no issues moving material between the two.”

Thompson said the university hopes the new Fulldome Media Lab will be a useful learning opportunity for students of all majors.