2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Planetarium, so what better time to go and see the Southern Hemisphere night sky brilliantly recreated.
What is a planetarium?
A planetarium is a room with a dome-shaped ceiling and at the centre of the room is a star projector. The Adelaide Planetarium houses a Zeiss Jena ZPK1 star projector which projects an artificial night sky onto the eight-metre diameter domed ceiling to represent the night sky and can be used to show the position of constellations, stars and planets. The projector presents the relative position and brightness of about 5,000 stars that are visible from the Southern Hemisphere.
The Adelaide Planetarium is housed at the University of South Australia’s Mawson Lakes campus. This air-conditioned dome seats 45 people in specially designed chairs and the audience can view all parts of the artificial sky in comfort.
Presentations at the Planetarium
The shows (spanning some 45 minutes – 1 hour) involve a demonstrator giving a live presentation about the solar system, stars and constellations and other interesting objects found in the night sky. Unlike other planetariums that simply project a movie onto the dome, the Adelaide Planetarium gives visitors the unique experience of highly qualified presenters to take you on a journey into outer space.
Visitors learn about the origins of the star and constellation names, utilising indigenous as well as traditional star lore and mythology. Particular emphasis is placed on the names of stars and constellations, a description of what you could see if you went outside on a clear night.
The shows give an insight into the splendour of the night sky. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentation allowing a large degree of involvement for the audience. The presenters will tailor the presentation to suit the audience so whether 5 or 85, there is something for everyone at the Adelaide Planetarium.
Saturday Viewing Sessions suitable for families with school aged children are on the first and third Saturday of each month at 2.30pm to 4pm. Click here to book.
They also have School holiday programs for school aged children.
Visit the Uni SA Planetarium website for more information about the planetarium. Phone: 08 8302 3138
What: Adelaide Planetarium
When: 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 2.30pm to 4pm plus School Holidays
Who: Suitable for children 6 years and older
All images are from the Adelaide Planetarium website.