Chorzów’s new-look Planetarium named ‘Pearl of Silesia’
A new-look, state-of-the-art Planetarium displaying 100 million stars has opened in Silesia.
The culmination of over three years work, the Silesian Planetarium in Chorzów has been cited as one of the biggest cultural investments in the region for years.
Speaking at the official inauguration, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki underlined its value saying: “I remember visiting here as a child with my father. At the time, it represented the peak of technology.
“I am convinced that again, young people will find amazing inspiration here that will shape their future adventures.”
He added that the new look Planetarium was among the most modern to be found anywhere in the world: “It is encouraging we have such a work in Poland, and I am convinced that foreign tourists will come here because this is a world class facility,” he said.
Key attractions at the PLN 145 million facility include an ultra-modern hybrid projector system capable of displaying 100 million stars.
With a total floor plan now enlarged to twice its original size, other draws include exhibitions and displays that will allow visitors to stand next to a lightning strike and experience an earthquake.
Also of note, the Silesian Planetarium has been equipped with five flight simulators whose single-person capsules will take people into space – fitted so that users will experience vibrations, overloads and, even, temporary weightlessness, they will also afford the chance to view the Planetarium and surrounding Silesian Science Park from above.
In keeping with the desire to attract younger generations, the weekend saw a host of other attractions rolled-out, among them a concert by Dawid Kwiatkowski and a light show performed by fifty drones.
Originally opened in Chorzów in 1955 as part of nationwide celebrations conducted to commemorate the astronomer Nicolas Copernicus, the Silesian Planetarium was defined by its striking 23-metre dome – an iconic structure that is now protected under the Register of Monuments.
At its heart, meanwhile, was a telescope installed by a German team of scientists.
Produced by the Carl Zeiss factory in Jena, it had the capacity to project 8,000 stars.
However, despite hosting the Fifth International Olympia on Astronomy & Astrophysics in 2011, recent years saw the cultural value of Poland’s oldest planetarium significantly eroded.
But at the weekend opening of the new planetarium, Morawiecki described it as another ‘pearl in the crown of Silesia.
The PM said: “We strongly want to encourage children and young people to participate in sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, astrophysics and astronomy as these are all areas that will be key to inventions in the 21st century.”