Fly me to the moon

The renovated Moscow Planetarium offers a whole range of interactive attractions aside from the usual stargazing. Guests are given the chance to enter black holes and even jump on the moon. RT’s correspondent took the plunge.

Moscow’s planetarium should rank as one of the slowest renovations of all time – some 17 years after closing for repairs, Moscow’s Planetarium is open for business and filled with crowds eager to learn.

They say one can see the stars in daytime by looking up from the bottom of a well or through a tall chimney. It may only be a legend, but you can certainly see them through a telescope in Russia’s oldest planetarium.

It has been closed for a makeover for 17 years, but has now reopened, bringing the public a world of stars, science fiction and technology.

Scientists say that in a big city like Moscow, which has a lot of bright lights at night, you may only be able to see around a dozen stars with the naked eye. At the planetarium’s centerpiece, Star Hall, there are thousands waiting to be explored.

From artificial galaxies to a real open-air experience, the planetarium’s Sky Park brings you a fascinating world of astronomical devices from the past and present, including its collection of sundials. Here you can check the time with cosmic precision, and every step you take leads to a discovery.

And finally, there is the interactive part – the kids just love it! This is the place where you can touch everything you see, and complicated things about space are easily explained, so you do not need to be a science buff to enjoy it.

You can travel toward black holes, explore tornadoes, and even jump on the lunar surface. Find out how much you would weigh on other planets and learn everything you have ever wanted to know about the Big Bang theory. So no need to try and see stars up a well, when you can discover the entire universe instead!

The Moscow Planetarium has been around since 1929. At the time it was the Soviet Union’s first, and the 13th in the world. The number did not prove unlucky, though, and the project grew.

The planetarium continued to work throughout World War II, even offering special lectures for Red Army pilots. And at the peak of the Soviet space program, it became one of the key training centers for cosmonauts.

Now the brand new state-of-the-art planetarium is back, complete with Europe’s largest dome taking you straight into space, two observatories where you can reach for the stars, a 4D cinema to watch stunning astronomy-related films, and an interactive museum to come out and play.

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