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Scottish Power Planetarium (Glasgow)

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Glasgow / Scotland

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      07.03.2010 16:21
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      A brilliant planetarium

      The Scottish Power Planetarium is located on the first floor of the Glasgow Science Centre, the shows run at various times throughout the day and you book your tickets in advance and make sure that you are on time as no latecomers will be admitted, tickets cost a very reasonable £2 per person. The waiting area outside the planetarium entrance doesn't have any seating but there are a few interactive exhibits to play around with including a camera in a creepy crawly tank which allows you to zoom in on giant cockroaches!

      When you enter the theatre you take your seat, you will be surprised at how far the seats recline (personally I don't like reclining seats because I think they make my belly fat look more prominent!) but this is because the main show is above your head on the circular dome where the night sky is projected.

      The show starts with an introduction to the solar system from the guides. The lights are slowly dimmed and at this point you wonder what all the fuss is about as the stars don't look too great. When the lights are fully dimmed you can hear gasps of awe from the audience as the night sky in all its glory is projected on the dome above your head, we don't normally see how beautiful the night sky looks because of clouds and light pollution. The skyscape which is projected is the sky as it would be seen above Glasgow on the evening of the show.

      The talk continues with the guide pointing out various constellations including all of the horoscope signs and teaching the audience how to look for landmarks in the sky using the North Star as a guide. The talk is really interesting and you will learn a lot about basic astronomy and how it has been used over the years by the likes of sailors. The final part of the show lets you just lie back and enjoy the sight of the stars as the whirl around overhead and you can either try to find patterns and landmarks or just lie back and enjoy it, it is extremely relaxing to recline and watch this going on.

      The lights are slowly put back on again to allow your eyes to get used to the light again and the guides also answer questions during this point.

      The Scottish Power Planetarium uses an amazing Zeiss Starmaster projector which cost in excess of £3 million pounds to bring this show to life, no wonder it is seen as one of the best planetariums in the world. The show is truly awe inspiring, I have seen it twice now and would happily go back again. The kids I have taken to see the show have always enjoyed it too, I was worried a hyper little boy would not settle but he ended up asking for a mini planetarium for his bedroom and started reading books about the solar system after his visit so it is educational as well as fun.

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