One step to the stars: How Planetarium Noosphere makes people fall in love with the Universe

31 Jan 2023
Planetarium Noosphere

When a child is two years old, they are just learning to explore the world. For the Dnipro Planetarium, two years mean that it is already something to talk about, to be proud of and to strive for. So, on the second anniversary of the renewed Planetarium Noosphere, it’s time to talk about the team and star projects.

The Dnipro Planetarium was opened in 1968. Since the 80s, it fell into a terrible state: the building was in a state of disrepair, and the exhibits and equipment were far from modern. Of course, the NGO “Association Noosphere” and its patron Max Polyakov decided that residents and guests of Dnipro should have an updated location where children and adults can discover the Universe.

At the end of 2020, the transformed Noosphere Planetarium opened its doors. There is equipment that is unmatched in Ukraine. In the Star Hall, visitors can watch films and animated stories about space on a giant dome. The six LED projector system plays video with incredible quality – just like the best planetariums in the world. The technical features and AR elements of exhibits will captivate children and adults.

Although it was already a world-class planetarium, it was renovated again at the end of 2022: repair and renovation of the exhibition space, installation of city lighting, creation of a VR zone and restoration of exhibits. Planetarium guides created original programs, and the team developed their own tablet games and also launched a unique full-dome film, “Ukrainian Space”, based on the paintings of Ukrainian artist Oleg Shupliak.

That is not the only film created at the Planetarium. There are currently four other full-dome original programs:: “Our Cosmic Address”, “Life of a Star”, “Landscapes of the Universe through the Eyes of the Hubble Telescope” and the program by space guide Svitlana Pavelko’s “Paradoxical Universe”. There are 24 different programs in total. 

There are currently 14 people working on the Planetarium team. They vary in education and hobbies but are united by the desire to bring the amazing world of stars and planets to people. 

During the war, all workers gathered to work towards victory. The planetarium opened its doors to displaced Ukrainians from dangerous regions, so that they could attend the screenings for free. Almost 8,000 displaced persons have already attended such sessions.

“Of course, the work process is currently complicated by power and internet outages, but Planetarium Noosphere will continue to develop so that young Ukrainians will fall in love with space”, says Planetarium project manager Juia Pribitkova.

Although this second anniversary came at a difficult time, the Planetarium still has something to boast about. During its two years, it held 1,829 sessions, attended by almost 61 thousand guests. NooPlanet AR was downloaded by more than 10 thousand users from the Google Play Store and App Store.

But the best part isn’t the numbers, but the sparkling eyes and happy smiles of visitors as they leave the Star Hall. They are the reason why the Planetarium Noosphere team works and plans new space projects.