Visitors to the World Museum planetarium in Liverpool will experience “mind-blowing” close-ups of the solar system from the comfort of their seats thanks to the installation of a new, state-of-the art projector.

The planetarium was given £110,000 worth of projection equipment by German optical manufacturer Zeiss after the firm discovered it was still using one of its projectors, which was installed when the venue opened in 1970.

The planetarium previously only showed static images. But the new digital projection system will display moving images for the first time, creating a more “immersive” experience for spectators. Now visitors will be able to see close-ups of the moon and the volcanoes of Mars.

The venue, which attracts 90,000 visitors a year and is the UK's only free planetarium with four shows daily, is set to reopen on 30 January.

Jennifer Longman, planetarium education manager at the World Museum, said, "We are getting brand new digital projectors which will work alongside our existing equipment. This means more exciting and immersive shows than ever before.

"We will be able to use ‘all-dome’ technology to create mind-blowing shows and visitors will be able get up close to the moon or the volcanoes of Mars from the comfort of their seat."