MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
Read the mos.ru article on what Yuri Gagarin and German Titov studied at the planetarium, how Konstantin Paustovsky inspired the staff of the star house to develop new technologies, and from what angle to view the Earth-Moon model.
Moscow planetarium Is one of the most fascinating places in the capital. Here you can travel among stars and nebulae, explore the Universe. Today it is the most technically equipped scientific astronomical center in the world.
Every year, the planetarium develops new excursions and educational programs for children and adults, new exhibits appear, lectures by prominent scientists are held, and technologies are updated. There are classical and interactive museums, two observatories, an open astronomical platform, a 4D cinema and two star halls – there is no such variety in any other scientific and educational center.
The planetarium opened on November 5, 1929. It was a great event for Moscow. At that time, there were only 12 planetariums in the world, of which 10 in Germany and one each in Italy and Austria. Today the star house turns 91 years old.
Nevertheless, not the entire biography of the capital planetarium is known to its visitors. For interesting and unexpected facts about one of the most cosmic places in the capital, see this mos.ru article.
“Proletarian, proletarian, go to the planetarium”
Almost immediately after the opening of the planetarium, Vladimir Mayakovsky and Konstantin Paustovsky visited it. Mayakovsky was so impressed by what he saw that he wrote the poem “Proletarian, proletarian, go to the planetarium.”
And Paustovsky made a remark to the dead sky, noting that the stars do not twinkle on it. So he gave the idea to the first director of the planetarium, Konstantin Shistovsky – he thought about creating a living sky on which the stars would twinkle like real ones.
German engineers from the Karl Zeiss plant believed that this was impossible. But the planetarium specialists have solved the seemingly impossible task quite simply. A lattice flask was made of wire with “flies” soldered onto it in different places. The bulb was put on a thousand-watt lamp, which gives light to the stars, and with the help of an electric motor rotated around it, blocking the light. The result was the illusion of flickering.
By 1934, on the dome of the planetarium, not only the stars were twinkling, but also clouds were floating, the auroras sparkled, the August starfall was reproduced, solar eclipses occurred, Tsiolkovsky’s rocket flew. At the end of the session, the dawn was breaking in the hall and the sun rose to the music of the Soviet composer Reingold Glier, specially arranged for the planetarium. There was nothing like it in any planetarium in the world until the late 1950s. So the star house ceased to be just an optical platform, but became a domed theater, reproducing the sky in all its diversity.
Today, the effect of a living sky is created by modern projection technologies, which are incorporated into the design of the Universarium M9 star projector. A separate optical fiber is connected to each star, the brightness of which can be controlled.
The Moscow Planetarium has a place not only for science, but also for art. For all the time, three theaters worked in it. The first is pre-war, in which the performances “Giordano Bruno”, “Nicolaus Copernicus”, “Galileo Galilei” were staged. Professional actors took part in the performances.
In 1954, the Planetar Variety and Miniature Art Theater began to work. The actors in it were mainly employees of the star house. They staged performances according to their own scripts. But in the 1970s, the theater ceased to exist.
The Fantastic Theater was opened in 1989. It became a platform for young actors and directors in search of new forms of performing arts. The theater existed until 1994.
The war years: how the planetarium had a hard time
Even during the harsh war years, the Moscow Planetarium continued to work. Its employees, in addition to working in the star hall, conducted field lectures on astronomy in hospitals, sponsored military units, and air defense propaganda points.
Employees N.V. Linitsky and S.S. Dergachev designed a special mobile device that made it possible to demonstrate the starry sky in any room. It consisted of two hemispheres, between which there was a lamp. The light passed through tiny holes aligned with the stars and hit the ceiling. With the help of such devices, small planetariums were organized in some hospitals.
The planetarium also played a strategic role in the war – the huge silvery dome served as a good reference point for the pilots. Because of this, the building was not masked. The dome served as a reference point for enemy pilots, but it was thanks to this that the planetarium survived the war – the German command ordered not to bomb the building.
Astro site secret exhibit
In 1947, the first astronomical platform in the world, which is now called the “Sky Park”, appeared in the Moscow Planetarium. It was created with the active participation of Mikhail Nabokov, the author of the first Soviet school textbook of astronomy, and Moscow astronomers.
An interesting exhibit is installed in the “Sky Park” – the model “Earth – Moon”. The Earth is visible immediately, but finding the Moon is not so easy. To see it, you need to look at the roof of a neighboring house – there, on a brick chimney, you can see a small hemisphere. This is the Moon. They placed it there when the astronomical site was opened. The model of our planet was then on the ground, and not on the roof of the planetarium, as it is now.
The model of the moon is five million times smaller than the original. And the distance between it and the globe of the Earth was five million times less than the actual distance between these celestial bodies. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is equal to 60 Earth radii, which on the accepted scale corresponds to 77 meters.
After the reconstruction of the site, the model of the Earth became a little different in size. The distance between it and the Moon model has also changed. But you can still imagine how the Earth and the Moon are located in space.
“No one will turn off the starry sky for me”: stories about the Moscow Planetarium“On the scale of the Universe, 90 years is an instant.” Interview with the scientific director of the Moscow Planetarium
Training of future astronauts
Few people know that the conquest of space began, including in the planetarium – it was here that from 1960 to 1975 astronavigation training was held. They were part of the mandatory training for Soviet cosmonauts. The starry hall was visited by Yuri Gagarin, German Titov, Andriyan Nikolaev, Valentina Tereshkova and other space explorers.
They were given lectures on astronomy by leading scientists, and the staff of the planetarium B.A. Maksimachev and K.A. Portsevsky was taught the ability to quickly and accurately determine the position of navigation stars at any given time in both celestial hemispheres.
The simultaneous survey of the Northern and Southern hemispheres of the celestial sphere, independent of the weather, and the visibility of navigation tasks made the planetarium an indispensable platform for studying space. The impressive dimensions of the dome also helped to better imagine the location of the stars: its diameter is 25 meters, and the area of the artificial sky is a thousand square meters.
Full-Dome Film Production Studio
If earlier in the planetarium one could see theatrical performances, now they watch movies here. A scientific film was shot especially for the star dome. To create such ribbons, the planetarium has its own 3D graphics studio.
“The process of creating fulldome films is akin to filmmaking – there is a screenwriter, director, scientific editor, 3D artist, designer, composer. A whole creative team is working on the creation of the film, ”says Faina Rubleva, scientific director of the Moscow Planetarium.
According to her, films should correspond to the theme of the planetarium, reflect modern ideas about the Universe, contain reliable scientific information and have a high level of visualization. Therefore, leading scientists in the field of astronomy act as consultants.
The repertoire of the stellar house includes several films of its own production, for example “Inhabited Moon” and “Multicolored Universe”. The film “Inhabited Moon” shows the surface of the Earth’s satellite and the lunar sky. The authors not only talk about the grandiose plans for the exploration and development of the Moon, but also represent the future spacecraft that will fly there.
Colored Universe tells about all-wave astronomy. She opened the sky to people in a new way – in the infrared, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ranges. Mastering each of them was a breakthrough into the unknown, followed by the discovery of new objects and phenomena in the world of stars and galaxies. Viewers can see the world filled with invisible radiation with their own eyes, visit the nebula, discover many new stars and meet the most powerful objects in the entire cosmos.
The film won the VI All-Russian Prize “For Loyalty to Science” and received a II degree diploma in the nomination “Best Popular Science Project of 2019”.
Marry under the stars
A cosmic atmosphere that creates a sense of unreality, and at the same time, the opportunity to discover the unknown attracts romantic couples. Many people want to celebrate the creation of a family right here, under the starry sky.
Since 2019, the Moscow Planetarium has been included in the list of the most unusual places in the capital for a wedding ceremony. More than 100 couples make an alliance here every year.
The staff of the star house do everything to make the celebration truly unforgettable – for example, Venus lights up for newlyweds, you can see the northern lights or a star shower.
You can apply for marriage registration at the Moscow Planetarium through the portal of state services or, in special cases, by appointment in person at the Dmitrovsky registry office.
More than three thousand couples have chosen unusual sites for marriage registration
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.