The Moscow PlanetariumRussian: Moskovskiy Planetariy or Московский Планетарий, ranking among the most modern planetariums in the world, reopened its doors in 2011 after a long reconstruction. In addition to its giant main hall featuring state-of-the-art technology used to project exciting and informative films about stars on a map of the night sky, the Planetarium also houses a wide variety of small museums displaying thematic collections and installations related to space and astronomy. The Planetarium is not too heavy on science, since regular visitors are families with children and amateur science lovers of all ages.
THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE PLANETARIUM
The Moscow Planetarium was inaugurated on 5 November 1929, for which occasion Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky wrote a poem. High expectations were set for the Planetarium. As it was intended to take on the role of a ‘popular university’ and to serve as an atheist propaganda tool, the government allocated considerable funds for its construction, with equipment even being imported from abroad. It has long remained one of the world’s most sophisticated planetariums, featuring a dome with flickering stars, floating clouds, flying comets, glowing northern lights, August meteor showers and solar eclipses, all of which seemed like an awe-inspiring miracles to people back then. The rocket-shaped building designed in the then-popular constructivist style became an integral part of the Soviet capital’s image.
A NEW APPROACH
Today, the renovated Planetarium continues to amaze visitors, being a great source of fun and new information. The Big Star HallRussian: Bolshoy zvezdnyi zal or Большой звёздный зал features Europe’s largest star projector dome with an area of 1,000 square metres, producing a stunning effect of total immersion into outer space.
Visitors of all ages will enjoy the LunariumRussian: Лунариум, an interactive museum presenting the laws of physics and various natural phenomena in the form of games. Create artificial clouds and tornados, generate electricity, make electronic music, ride a space bike and find out how much you weigh on other planets, ‘protect’ the planet from asteroids, send a message to aliens, and much more. The exhibits – The Black Hole, The Hyperboloid Magic Wand, The Plasma Ball and Optical Illusions are enhanced with colourful plates with fascinating written information about each exhibit. Employees are also happy to provide further assistance anyone who is interested in more information. Along with exhibits, every hall is equipped with state-of-the-art installations, three-dimensional models and much more.
Planetarium visitors are welcome to visit the Sky ParkRussian: Park neba or Парк неба, open from May to September. A combination of an astronomical observatory and an open-air museum, the Sky Park was the first of its kind to open its doors to the general public. Conceived in 1939, this project wasn’t carried out until after the end of WWII and has been updated as recently as the 21st century. This park offers a lot to see, including a unique collection of various sundials, and on top of that, visitors are invited to participate in celestial observations and to find out about the evolution of human knowledge about space. The Planetarium’s main observation sites are two observatory towers.
Pay a visit to the Urania MuseumRussian: Muzey Uranii or Музей Урании dedicated to the Planetarium’s history, which tells the story of the development of tools and methods used to study the Universe. Here, you are free to touch meteorites and make a wish on them.
The Planetarium also features a 4D Movie Theatre which will activate the spectator’s senses to perceive as much information as possible while watching movies on space and space-related topics.
The same building houses an MKS space souvenir shopRussian: Magazine Kosmicheskikh Suvenirov or Магазин Космических Сувениров where one can buy souvenirs, fascinating books on outer space, globes, interesting toys, telescopes, minerals, science kits and even meteorite fragments.
You may spend a whole day doing a tour of the Planetarium, but once it’s done, come and have a bite to eat at the Telescope caféRussian: кафе "Телескоп" with its unusual design and original cuisine featuring a special menu for small children.
You could spend a whole day here. The use of up-to-date equipment and interactive technology is what makes the Planetarium incredibly interesting and informative for children and grown-ups alike.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com