Shanghai Astronomy Museum, the world's largest planetarium, opened its doors. The museum, established on an area of 58 square meters, is located in the Shanghai Free Trade Pilot Zone Lingang Special Area.
Seen from above, the main building of the museum looks like a bowl filled with astronomical elements. The light pouring in from the circular skylight gathers at one point on the ground, which shows the time according to the state of the sunlight, like a sundial.
The Xihe and Wangshu Towers, named after the sun and moon symbols in Chinese mythology, look like moons of the main building. Visitors can observe the sun through a special telescope at the Xihe Tower. Thanks to the telescope, explosions and sunspots on the sun can be seen in high resolution. At night, it is possible to observe the Moon, planets and other celestial bodies through the dual focus, one meter telescope located in the Wangshu Tower.
120 works on display in the museum
The opening of the Shanghai Astronomy Museum is seen as a milestone in efforts to advance science. While walking around the main building, visitors can learn about the universe by going through three themed exhibitions: Earth, Universe and Odessa. Other areas focused on the history of Chinese astronomy, the exploration of Mars, and the popularization of science among children.
The advanced laser performance system, 8K resolution spherical projection system and stage system are installed in the domed building next to the main building. Thanks to these systems, visitors can find the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in astronomy by watching various shows.
The museum displays 70 artifacts, including about 120 meteorites from the Moon, Mars, and Vesta, as well as works by Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Kepler. Half of the other 300 exhibits in the museum are interactive exhibits. Data visualization, augmented reality, virtual reality and biometric technologies enable visitors to gain astronomical and scientific knowledge through interaction.
Ye Shuhua, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and astronomer who spent nearly 10 years working on the establishment of the museum, said, "China has made extremely successful discoveries in deep space in the 21st century." According to Ye, building a planetarium is extremely important in popularizing astronomy and supporting the education of young people in the field.
On the other hand, science fiction and astronomy are attracting more and more people in China. The total value of China's science fiction industry in 2019 grew by 2018 percent compared to 44,3, reaching 65,87 billion yuan ($10,17 billion). The box office revenues of domestic science fiction films also doubled compared to 2018. Thomas Kraupe, Director of the Hamburd Planetarium and former President of the International Society of Planetariums, made the following assessment about the museum: I had the privilege of being involved in the early stages of the museum project, and I hope the museum will inspire future generations by telling stories about us and the universe.
Source: China International Radio