Monday, April 28, 2008

Harewood House planetarium

Harewood House stately home near Harrogate has a planetarium in it now. I went with my dad and my brother last week.

It is a temporary structure, but is still a very impressive one. I have only ever been to one other planetarium before, and that was in Montreal.

This one has one seriously impressive projector in it. Some monster that spins in 360 degress and has over 100,000 fibre optic lights in it. Each one perfectly correlates to a visible star. So each star that they project is the perfect brightness and colour as we would see if we looked in the night sky.

But this mad beastie can do crazy things like show you what the sky would look like 14,000 years from now; so all the stars start shooting around the sky showing the passage of time. Other crazy tricks like zooming in on Jupiter and watching its moons orbit around it perfectly. It was dead impressive! It can do both hemispheres, so the Southern Cross and other astronomical sights only visible down under can be seen. Me Wants One Now!

Plus outside they have a 60 foot climbing frame and slide. So me and my brother, aged 34 and 39 climbed up to the top and slid down lol. Still the biggest kids there!

A great evening out!


Alexander said...

Ah, planetariums. I went to one in London during the 1980s as part of a school trip, and lying back in the reclining chair and looking up was a magic memory of awe. Many years later I went up to London with a girlfriend and we visited it. Big mistake (not the girlfriend, but returning to the planetarium....although, in some ways the girlfriend was a mistake too....but erm....that's another story).

Anyway, yes the planetarium re-visit. Lying back on the reclining chair and looking up wasn't an awe inspiring experience anymore. Eventually I figured out why. No longer was I 4ft (or whatever I was in the 1980s) and the experience was rather underwhelming unfortunately. Moral of the story? Some cherished memories are best left alone. :)

Martin said...

A little misty-eyes walking down memory lane there lol

I never went to one as a kid (also never looked through a proper telescope before). So finally catching up on all things I should have done lol

Plus, what they get upto now, compared with the 80's will be a world apart. They have clever beastie's at work now lol