What is a planetarium?
Planetarium is a device designed especially to show the different locations and movements of the planets and all the other objects in the universe. A sophisticated planetarium can project virtual images of the solar system including planets, stars and moon onto a domed ceiling that creates a perfect representation of the night sky. The room in which such a device is installed is also known as a planetarium.
A planetarium generally creates images of stars and other celestial objects by focusing light from multiple bright lamps through numerous tiny holes drilled through metal plates. These plates are accommodated around the two spherical structures, typically one for Northern and the other for Southern Hemisphere stars. Then the pictures of the planets and moon are produced by different projection devices mounted on a frame.
With the help of several sets of gears as well as electric motors, a planetarium can display the motion of the stars, the moon and planets along the ecliptic. Not only this, a planetarium also allows you to see the appearance of the heaven from any given location on the Earth.
The term "planetarium" was initially used to represent a small model of the solar system. The first planetarium was designed in the year 1682 by the famous astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Then, throughout the next 150 years, thousands of model planetariums were built that consisted a series of balls which showcased the sun and the planets of the solar system. These balls were fixed to rods connecting the gears that would further move the rods in order to make the planets circle the sun.
Advanced Portable Planetariums
Presently with technological advancements, planetariums have been introduced for most communities and schools. These appear in various sizes to suit the needs of schools, institutions, museums and so on. Generally, one model of planetarium employs an inflatable dome designed to accommodate around 35 children. The projector equips a small light bulb typically enclosed by a plastic and a black cylinder having clear spots for projecting the stars. There are also other cylinders, which display constellations, galaxies, and even the inside of a living cell.
If you want your students to become the future astronomers then educate them about the solar system in the most creative way. Invest in an ideal planetarium today.