Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in Bangalore

Written by Sudhir Kumar

The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore is one of the major tourist attractions of the city. The Nehru planetarium gives you opportunity to know about the various aspects of astronomy. The Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore was established in the year 1989.

About Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium :

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium was founded by the Bangalore City Corporation in 1989. It is located on Sir.T Chowdaiah Road. Since 1992, it is managed by the Bangalore Association for Science Education (BASE). BASE is devoted to dissemination of science among the public and the student community. On the premises there are the Science Centre and a Science Park.

The Planetarium has a 15.0 meters diameter dome with a seating capacity of 210.  “Space master”’ Planetarium projector supplied by M/s. Carl-Zeiss, Jena, Germany, projects the night sky as seen with naked eye on the dome. It can also projects constellation pictures, Panoramas. It is used not only for the shows but also for teaching astronomy. Apart from this, slide projectors, video projectors, special effect projectors, etc., are also used for the shows. This six inch code refractor telescope is used to project the solar system and the activities related to it along with animated graphics in about one hour.

The sky-theatre shows are very popular attracting about 2.0 lakh visitors every year. These shows blend science with art, literature and cultural aspects of many countries. Programs based on historical backgrounds, modern developments and future prospects are conducted. They use special visual effects, animation and videos for these programs.

Exhibition Halls :

They showcase giant posters of galaxies, Supernova remnants Nebulae, paintings and sculptures, astro-pictures, etc. They promote space education and astronomy. There is also a display on the great scientist Albert Einstein. There is a special Weighing Scale which displays the weight of a person on the different planets. A Science kiosk at the exhibition hall is donated by the IBM, India. There is a stall where books, science kits, models, telescopes, astro-photos etc are available.

Science Park :

Science Park, developed around the Planetarium, showcases the elements of science in the scientific ambience around the activities of the Planetarium and Science Centre. This provides a natural environment for learning and as outdoor games. One can find the models of D.N.A helix, Sound Resonant Swings, Whispering Dishes, Sun Dial to tell time, Giant Kaleidoscope, Model of a Polar Satellite Launching Vehicle (PSLV).

Association of Bangalore Amateur Astronomers :

ABAA is an independent, nonprofit housed in the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bangalore. Members of the association meet weekly on Sundays at 6:00 pm. They have discussions, night sky watching through telescopes and other activities. They can access the books and workshop.Telescope building is one of the important activities of ABAA. Other fun and exciting activities are night sky observation, astro-photography, etc. At Shivanahalli about 35.00 kms from Bangalore, this organization has a 12″ telescope where they have more activities.

Know Your Stars is a program conducted by ABAA on first Sunday of every month. This program includes lectures on Stars, constellations and planets, using of telescopes manned by amateur astronomers. A star chart of that day is provided to all visitors and they are taught its use. Special astronomical events are viewed on the telescope or video shows are organized for the public periodically.

Timings :

Daily at 3 p.m(in Kannada ), 4.30 p.m (in English),  except on Mondays and second Tuesday.

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Sudhir Kumar

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