Hamburg Planetarium

Hari goes to see the planetarium in Hamburg and she finds it a most amazing experience.

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Europe’s third largest port, after Rotterdam and Antwerp, Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany. It has a population of about 1.84 million people and an absolutely fabulous planetarium. 

The famous astronomer Claudius Ptolemy reported the first name for the vicinity as Treva in the 2nd century AD. Many centuries later, the planetarium was built in and opened to the public on 30th of April1930. 

The building hosting the planetarium is an Art Deco water tower, built between 1912 and 1915. 

You can go visit the rooftop of the building, which opens up to the beautiful panorama of the city. There is a narrow passage that surrounds the former water tank. Inside the room, words have a strange echo, reverberated by the rusted metal of the biggest cauldron I’ve ever seen. 

Inside, the building is opening to the original painted roof – restored and preserved, depicting constellations of the Northern Hemisphere. 

In 2011, Planetarium Hamburg became one of the first ESO Outreach Partner Organisations (EOPO) of the European Southern Observatory(ESO). The same year, Planetarium Hamburg became the first planetarium in Europe to use fulldome 3D-Stereoscopic technology. 

Hamburg's sternensaal: the hall of stars

Planetarium means a device that projects the positions of planets. The word comes  from Latin planetarius ‘relating to the planets’. Who ‘s ever been to a planetarium, knows that it does more than that, hall of stars is a very appropriate name. 

Unexpected though, was to find Stella here. Stella is a proper name and it also means star in Latin. Not an ordinary star, Stella is a cow in a spacesuit. You can follow her adventures on Facebook: click here.

Stella is very famous in Germany and we sure hope she will visit New Zealand one day. 

Astrophysicist, Prof. Thomas W. Kraupe.

Since late 2000’s, the director of Hamburg Planetarium is Prof. Thomas W. Kraupe.

Prof Kraupe was the chair of the International Planetarium Society (IPS), was a consultant for the first ever digital planetarium project in New York (American Museum of Natural History)1996-2000, directed the Planetarium at “Forum der Technik – Deutsches Museum” in Munich (1993-1996) and co-directed (1983-1992) “Carl-Zeiss-Planetarium Stuttgart”, Stuttgart, Germany. 

Here, he is part of a very interesting art installation currently showing at the Planetarium, where famous people are photographed wearing face painting of some of the most amazing celestial landscapes photographed by Hubble.