OSAKA — The city of Osaka has unveiled a plan to build the world’s largest “all-sky” screen at the Osaka Science Museum’s planetarium theater to project celestial movements and simulate space travel.

The city earmarked 656 million yen for the project in its fiscal 2003 budget.

The museum hopes to install the U.S.-made projector system by summer 2004.

About 10 planetariums, including facilities in the United States and Germany, use the same system.

Opened in 1989, the Osaka Science Museum already has a planetarium with a dome theater measuring 26.5 meters in diameter, the fifth largest in the world. The current system relies on multiple slide projectors to display celestial movements through computer graphics and video images.

The new system will allow projection of an all-sky image both swiftly and smoothly, museum officials said.

The museum plans to re-create the movements of the Aurora and the Leonid meteors using computer graphics. Another project is to put up a show where visitors can experience virtual space journeys using video images taken aboard U.S. space shuttles.

“The images will be dynamic, something for us to dream about,” a museum official said. “I’m sure they will stir people’s interest in space, even among young children.”

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