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.Continue Reading
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
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 >
Sirius (also known as Alpha Canis Majoris or the Dog Star) is the brightest star in the night sky. It is located in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is almost 25 times brighter than the sun and about twice as massive.Full Answer >
The planet Venus becomes visible in the west just after sunset and is the third brightest natural object in the night sky. Venus is covered by thick clouds that reflect more than 70 percent of the sunlight that reaches the planet.Full Answer >
Gravity is one of the fundamental forces of the universe, and it keeps us on Earth because it is relentlessly attractive. Every massive particle exhibits gravity by pulling closer to every other particle. The strength of this interaction is dependent on two quantities: the amount of mass and the distance between objects. It is possible to escape Earth's gravity if you have enough energy to speed up sufficiently.Full Answer >