A planetarium is a facility designed to replicate the features of the universe in the night sky. Similar to a museum or science center, planetariums are developed in communities to offer education and entertainment to people curious about the field of astronomy. Visitors typically pay admission fees to enter just as they would at a theater or zoo.Know More
A standard planetarium room has a projection of the night sky on a dome ceiling. Visitors sit in theater-style seating below and look up at the projection. In some rooms, the images are static. In others, movement takes place to replicate movement of the moon, stars and planets in the sky. Some science centers have planetarium rooms where films about the universe are displayed on the dome ceiling for people to watch.
Some large planetariums have telescopes for guests to use to detect more intricate details of the universe and smaller stars in the sky. Multimedia technology making use of sound and lights is also used to deliver live presentations on different astronomical topics. People can visit at different days and times to learn about different elements of the sky. Elementary schools in some communities schedule planetarium field trip visits for some students as part of their curriculum.Learn more about Astronomy
Stars appear to pulsate and twinkle in the night sky due to the refraction of light through the Earth's atmosphere. When the light from a star enters the atmosphere, air molecules bounce and deflect the light rays, slightly altering the apparent position and intensity of the star.Full Answer >
The Orion Nebula, so named because of its proximity to the belt of the Orion constellation, is one of the brightest nebulae in the night sky and a region where young stars are in the process of forming. Astronomers have studied the nebula and learned much about the formation of protoplanets and brown dwarf stars. The nebula and its surroundings are home to more than 2,000 stars.Full Answer >
The moon is the brightest and most easily visible object in the night sky. Unlike stars, the moon doesn't actually produce any light but reflects light from the sun. The moon's brightness changes periodically, depending on its phases.Full Answer >
Astronomers use physics, chemistry and mathematics to study the makeup of the universe. They discover facts about other astrophysical objects using telescopes on Earth and in space, radio, computers and the geology of Earth. Astronomers also use digital cameras and charge-couple devices in order to convert the data captured by telescopes into electrical signals for further study on computers.Full Answer >