Brno Observatory and Planetarium
Fly into space, look into the microworld, discover the secret of life, immerse yourself into the realm of fantasy, partially reveal the future and live a science-fiction story. All of that, and actually much more, can be found at the Brno Observatory and Planetarium.
We are a centre for popularization of various sciences, especially in the field of inanimate nature. First of all, it is of course astronomy, but we do not avoid geology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography and a lot of other fields. All of that in a form which is understandable, entertaining and interactive. We are not a scientific workplace, but you can encounter science at every step. We are also engaged in promotion of Brno universities and big scientific projects carried out in the area of Brno.
Up-to-date premises of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium are an ideal place for medium size events of congress and incentive tourism, specialized events for sponsors and advertising or barter partners, cultural activities (theatre and musical performances) as well as a little more intimate meetings.
Performances for Foreign Visitors
Most performances in the hall of the Digitarium are simultaneously projected in English. Also all texts in the Exploratorium hall are in English and German and there is also a printed English and German guide book available. By prior agreement we are also able to arrange guided observations with our telescopes in English and German (for groups of at least 10 visitors). Please contact us by phone on +420 541 321 287 (on weekdays from 7.30 A.M. to 3.30 P.M., except the holidays) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Admission fees can be paid in cash in CZK only or by a payment card.
What will you find in our centre?
The Digitarium hall will immerse you with its scene and sound. The series of special projectors combined with tens of computers can conjure a surprisingly true model of the space on the projection screen with a diameter of 17 meters. The repertoire of the Digitarium does not include only astronomical shows. We will take you to the places that are hard to get to – under water, inside a human body, to the near future, to the microworld and macrocosm… Many of our shows are projected in English simultaneously. Headphones are available on request at the ticket desk.
The Exploratorium hall and its exposition called the Story of the Solar System will provide you with a modern view of the vicinity of our planet. There are interactive exhibits, large-scale illustrations and samples of extraterrestrial rocks and fossils. You will live out an incredible story of the Solar System, a fascinating corner of the universe, which forms our world. All captions and legends in the Exploratorium hall are in English and German and there is a printed English and German guide book available.
Astronomical Observation Point
Have you seen with your own eyes the spots on the Sun, craters on the Moon, the ring of Saturn, the storms and satellites of Jupiter, crescent of Venus, colour binary stars, star clusters, nebulas and galaxies millions light years away? We can show you all of that comfortably with the help of modern astronomical telescopes with the lens diameter of up to 35 cm. Excursions in English and German only by prior agreement (for groups of at least 10 visitors).
The Small Planetarium is able to conjure up an illusion of the starry sky with several conspicuous planets and the Moon on its dome with a diameter of 8 meters. But unlike the bigger Digitarium, it offers intimate atmosphere with a pleasant place to sit down. Excursions in English and German only by prior agreement (for groups of at least 10 visitors).
The Observation Deck offers almost magical both day and night views of Brno. With the naked eyes, but also with the help of portable telescopes you can take a look at the night sky. Although it is not very dark, you can still see the Sun, Moon, planets of the Solar System and the most conspicuous star constellations from there. The Observation Deck is open during the day without guided observations.
Selling and booking of the tickets with a small astronomical shop, as well as a place to sit down with simple refreshment facilities and exhibitions, that is what the foyer of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium offers. Perhaps the most interesting is a huge picture of a small part of the constellation of Vela (Sails), where a very massive star exploded 11 thousand years ago. The Foyer is open during the day without a guide.
The building of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium was reconstructed in modern functionalist style in 2010 and 2011 by the Skanska a. s. Brno company according to the design by architect Martin Rudiš. Inside you can find 47 km of cables ensuring all data transfers and 25 km of electric wiring. The unique sheathing of the whole building is decorated with 8,576,389 holes. The total amount of the building investment reached CZK 92.4 million (CZK 65 million from the European funds and 27.4 million from the City of Brno). The building of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium got the Czech Republic Building of the Year 2012 Award and also a nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013.
The projection system of the Digitarium has a resolution of 13.17 million pixels and in this resolution projects up to 60 shots every second. The general contractor of the Digitarium is a Czech-French consortium of the Nowatron Elektronik s.r.o. and RSA Cosmos companies, the Chronos II earth night sky projector was supplied by the Japanese GOTO Inc. company, projection screen with a diameter of 16.76 meters by the American Spitz Inc. company and design seats by the Kinoexport, s.r.o. company. The total amount of equipment investment reached CZK 56 million (50 million from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic).
Our Brief History
The Brno Observatory was open on 16 October 1954. At that time it only had one cupola with a smaller telescope. The first significant transformation happened in 1959, when another building was finished containing a lecture hall, observation point and first of all a ZKP-1 projection planetarium made by the Carl Zeiss Jena company, which created an illusion of a starry sky on the dome with a diameter of 8 meters (the device is still in operation).
Joining the observatory and planetarium as early as in the 1960’s resulted in a unique combination of very specific astronomical facilities, which is not very common in the world, but which offers a wide range of great opportunities in popularization of astronomy and scientific activities.
At that time our employees did scientific research – mainly of meteorites and variable stars. We can say without exaggeration that the Brno Observatory and Planetarium became a real centre of amateur astronomical research in the former Czechoslovakia (present Czech Republic).
The interest in astronomical programmes was still increasing, so at the beginning of 1980’s the officials decided to enlarge the building, of which the main part was a hall of the big planetarium (Spacemaster type by the Carl Zeiss Jena company). Although the new projection system was bought in 1978 already, the building process itself started in 1986 and the big planetarium was not opened officially until October 1991.
In 2005 the city observatory and planetarium began preparing for a transformation into a multi-visual centre. The transformation did not involve only the building, but also the programme orientation, personnel and the whole style of work. The foundation stone was laid down on 7 October 2009 by 16 astronauts from Bulgaria, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia, the Russian Federation and United States of America, and Vladimír Remek, the first Czechoslovak cosmonaut, became its guarantor.
The complete reconstruction of the building of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium was finished in the second half of 2011. Then during 2013 the original planetarium was replaced by a digital projection system of the RSA Cosmos company combined with a Chronos II projector.
The Brno Observatory and Planetarium is visited by more than 100,000 visitors each year (over 3 million since 1954). We rank among the most visited institutions of this type in the Czech Republic. Its operation is ensured by approximately twenty employees.
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