A planetarium unveils the wonders and mysteries of Astronomy. Staggering distances of outer space are eliminated and the world beyond our vision is brought closer to home. Here, one can virtually touch the stars, journey through clusters of stars and see many other celestial events in a matter of minutes, that in reality take months, years, or millions of years to happen. The Indira Gandhi Planetarium, a novel attraction of Lucknow, is a beautiful Saturn shaped building which houses the implements and equipments that can transport us into space without the use of a space craft and make the comets, asteroids, and constellation of stars visible to the naked eye.
A field trip to Indira Gandhi Planetarium was organized by Staford School for the students of class 1 to 6, on 26th October, 2013, in an attempt to encourage children to gain knowledge of the solar system and the Milky Way. The children watched a cosmic show, which started with the details on Chandrayaan mission to moon, in depth. It then explicated various seasons’ triangles in detail, easily perceivable by the children. Then the explanation for Pluto not being a planet was made clear, and the existence of all dwarf planets was highlighted. Different galactic structures and various nebulas located in the night sky were also explained. It was demonstrated how the milky way adds to the beauty of the night sky in several ways. The various sun signs also were pointed out and their formation outlined in an interesting manner.
The experience of the show in the planetarium was an entirely different experience, one of its kind and truly an out of the world experience for all the students. They enjoyed it thoroughly.
The teachers who had accompanied the children explained the various constellations and helped students correlate what they saw with what had been taught in class. The children were so engrossed in watching the show that they did not realize how the time flew. It was indeed a memorable educational tour.