In Statia, the Caribbean’s First Planetarium

caribbean planetarium statia

The tiny Dutch Caribbean island of Statia has debuted a first for the region: a planetarium. 

The project is the brainchild of the University of Amsterdam’s Jaap Vreling, who launched a mobile planetarium project across The Netherlands in 2010, traveling across the country with three “domes.” 

Now it has come to the Caribbean.

The planetarium, set on Statia’s Lynch Plantation, can accommodate up to 25 people, with the latest software and a full-fledged projection theater. 

caribbean planetarium statia

The dome, dubbed the “Statia Dome Project,” offers “realistic experiences as [viewers] journey through the universe,” according to Ishmael Berkel, who helped bring the project to the island. 

The planetarium officially opened last month. While it’s initially been a boon for students, the plan is to make it a tourist attraction. 

“The future is bright,” Berkel said, “and we are here to ensure that all Statians, big and small, have a chance to enjoy it. We also envision that tourists visiting our island will be able to have this attraction added to their vacation experience.”

— CJ


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