When the first man appeared on the Earth, they immediately looked at the sky. The sun, the moon and the stars were like a magnet for curious people. The science of astronomy was born at the dawn of mankind, but laymen being far from science used to look upwards. Greek scientists Anaximander and Eratosthenes tried to invent the celestial globe to help such people. Similar attempts were made by Chinese and Arab astrologers. The Globe of Gottorf made by famous scientist Adam Olearius and bought by Peter the Great for the Kunstkamera is now considered world’s first planetarium. It looked like a common globe, but the door between Australia and Africa led inwards, towards a starry sky. Such things had been unique till the 1920s when Professor Walther Bauersfeld proposed the wonderful space and time machine. The idea of the device called the planetarium is simple: it is a system of projectors that display the images of celestial bodies onto the fixed inner sphere of a hollow celestial globe. The device was assembled at the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena. Thus, an inquisitive audience visited the first planetarium on October 21, 1923 in Munich. The first planetarium was followed by the second, the third, the tenth one – all in Germany, and then the planetarium mania swept the world. World’s thirteenth one was Moscow Planetarium, the very one that deserved the famous Vladimir Mayakovsky’s couplet: “Female and male proletarians, go to the planetarium!” Now the spectacular movement of the sun and luminaries, i.e., stars and planets, can be observed in many cities around the world. One can also listen to lectures – on astronomy and cosmonautics. They also invented portable planetariums for people who would have otherwise overcome a large distance: back in the 1930s, science popularizers began to depict stars and planets on the inner surface of umbrellas. Besides, France launched the production of inflatable domes to be carried in a suitcase from school to school.
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Information provided by the Scientific Russia News Agency. Media outlet’s registration certificate: IA No. FS77-62580 issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media on July 31, 2015.
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