October 3, 2023

Balancing show and science

Balancing show and science

“It’s my first time in the planetarium and it’s absolutely amazing,” said Nikki, a family man, as he emerged from the newly designed room at the Science Center in Differing, which he and his two children have visited. The dome-shaped space allows visitors to immerse themselves in the planets of our solar system and foreign galaxies on their deck chairs.

The installation was “labor-intensive,” explains Julian Laigle, science facilitator at the Science Center. We had to “build the wooden structure, the technical fixtures, the speakers and the lights,” he said. Only then can the program be programmed. “The software belongs to the company that developed it, but we can show what interests us,” explains the program’s co-author.

“This is how we can show that we are not the center of the universe”

The goal is to make an offer “for everyone”. Laigl explains: “We start with the sky during the day and then show how to orient ourselves, which is where the pole star, the planets and our solar system are. This way we can prove that we are not the center of the universe.” So the show should soon be adapted: “As we start from the daytime sky, it will change in the spring.”

The 27-year-old sees the installation as “well done” and “affordable to the general public”. “There are many things you don’t usually see in the sky, like the planets, the sun, and the northern lights,” he said. Little Matthias is happy “because I saw what happened in the sky.”

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Visitors will be able to get a more accurate picture of this in the future. Because the plans for the Science Center in Differing go further: “We are planning to install an observatory on the roof of the Science Center,” announced science medium, Nadia Patello. “The images taken in this way can then be displayed in the planetarium.”