Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A visit to the planetarium

The third lecture of the basic astronomy course I'm following was today and we relocated from the Ole Rømer observatory to the planetarium at the Steno Museum.

The planetarium
I've been to planetariums before but I'm still amazed at how they work and what you can see there. The constellations are easy to point out, the Milky Way can be seen and so forth. Stuff that is very difficult to see from within (or nearby) the city I live in.
And because this was a fairly small planetarium the projector was standing in the middle of the room. And it was freaking cool!

 Click to view a larger image

The pendulum
Another cool exhibit at the planetarium was huge Foucault Pendulum (named after the French physicist Léon Foucault who used a similar pendulum experiment  in 1851 to prove that the Earth rotates).
The pendulum was setup so that it would knock over a small pin roughly every 15 minutes, so it becomes easily visible to guests that it actually works. The pendulum is hanging from a long wire attached to the ceiling of the planetarium building.

It was great fun being inside a planetarium again and seeing the proper night sky. It's been a few years since I've last taken a trip far away from the cities to look at the sky. But I'll be back and I'll get pictures this time.

But the coolest thing about this lecture was the fact that I didn't know we had a planetarium in this city until today. And now I do, so I can come here more often.
Just like the fact that I could actually get inside the observatory in Aarhus was a surprise, so was the existence of this planetarium. :-)