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Construction starts on Shanghai Planetarium

FANS of astronomy will have a chance to look through a real astronomical telescope, take a close look of precious meteorites and camp under the sky to enjoy the beautiful stars at the new Shanghai Planetarium, which started construction today.

The world’s biggest planetarium, located in Lingang area of Pudong, consists of a main building, a solar tower, a youth observation base and a public observatory to promote knowledge of astronomy and allow visitors to learn astronomy by more interesting and interactive methods.

With a 528-million-yuan (US$81.23 million) investment, the planetarium will open to the public in 2020.

The elliptical building typifies orbital motion of celestial bodies and the outside sidewalks are placed circles and expanded from the main building to the entire park, resembling the galaxy. The whole design of the building makes itself into an astronomical instrument which can tell time and direction. All construction technologies are green and intelligent such as solar energy power system and rain water collection and purifying system.

“Connecting human and the universe is the exhibition theme of our planetarium,” said Lin Qing, director of the planetarium’s exhibition department. “Visitors will enjoy the panorama of solar system and our galaxy, learn cosmic structure and theory and the history of human’s universe exploring. There are also special areas to exhibit astronomy in China.”

In addition to ordinary exhibition areas, the planetarium also offers summer camping for children to observe the sky and stars overnight, officials said.

While doing construction, the planetarium is collecting from the public for astronomical cultural relics and precious items in the history.

“We can buy the items through reasonable price or receive donation. People who have such precious relics can contact with us,” said Lin.

A local resident Zhang Bo has donated four meteorite specimens to the new planetarium and all the specimens are very precious and unique.


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