Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium to be opened in 2020

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHINADAILY in Shang­hai

The ground­break­ing cer­e­mony for the world’s largest plan­e­tar­ium kicked off in Shang­hai on Tues­day, with the fa­cil­ity sched­uled to open in 2020.

Lo­cated on Lin­gang Av­enue in the Pudong New Area, the Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium cov­ers more than 58,600 square me­ters and cost 528 mil­lion yuan ($77.9 mil­lion). It con­sists of a main build­ing, a pub­lic ob­ser­va­tory, a tower te­le­scope, an ob­ser­va­tion site for youths and a restau­rant.

When com­pleted, it will be the sec­ond com­pre­hen­sive plan­e­tar­ium on the Chi­nese main­land, fol­low­ing the Beijing Plan­e­tar­ium. Peo­ple will be able to ob­serve the galaxy, learn about astron­omy and ex­pe­ri­ence us­ing ob­ser­va­tion in­stru­ments.

“It’s been a dream of many sci­en­tists and am­a­teur as­tronomers for nearly half a cen­tury to build a plan­e­tar­ium in Shang­hai,” said Gu Qing­sheng, deputy di­rec­tor of Shang­hai Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Mu­seum and com­man­derof the con­struc­tion head­quar­ters of Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium.

Since the 1970s, sci­en­tists have been ap­peal­ing to build a plan­e­tar­ium in Shang­hai, aim­ing to arouse in­ter­est in astron­omy among young peo­ple and help cul­ti­vate tal­ents for China’s space ex­plo­ration.

The pro­ject was ap­proved in 2014, and the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign and bud­get were passed in July.

The new plan­e­tar­ium was planned for the Lin­gang area be­cause there is not much light pol­lu­tion there, mak­ing it one of the best places in Shang­hai for ob­ser­va­tion.

De­signed by En­nead Ar­chi­tects of the United States and Shang­hai Xian Dai Ar­chi­tec­tural De­sign (Group) Co, its main build­ing has three oval struc­tures, which sym­bol­ize the mov­ing or­bits of the ce­les­tial bod­ies and the la­wof uni­ver­sal grav­i­ta­tion.

The land­scape out­side the main build­ing con­tains four non-con­cen­tric walk­ing paths ex­tend­ing out­ward, a sym­bol of the spi­ral of the galaxy.

Xu Xiao­hong, an of­fi­cial at the con­struc­tion head­quar­ters of Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium, said that it is dif­fi­cult to con­struct such a huge ir­reg­u­lar­shaped build­ing, so the com­pany pro­duced a three-di­men­sional model of the build­ing us­ing com­puter soft­ware, which will be ap­plied in the de­sign, con­struc­tion, op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance of the build­ing.

The theme of the plan­e­tar­ium will be “Con­nect­ing Peo­ple and the Uni­verse”. The main ex­hi­bi­tion area is di­vided into three zones: Home, Uni­verse and Jour­ney.

TheHome area is an ex­hi­bi­tion of the sun, Earth and moon, where vis­i­tors can wan­der around the so­lar sys­tem and across the galaxy.

The Uni­verse area ex­hibits all the won­der­ful phe­nom­e­non in the uni­verse, from the per­spec­tives of time, space, light, grav­ity, el­e­ments and life, re­veal­ing the evo­lu­tion and op­er­a­tion of ce­les­tial bod­ies.

The Jour­ney area con­tains an ex­hi­bi­tion of the great jour­ney of space ex­plo­ration of hu­mans and a vi­sion of the fu­ture, aim­ing to in­spire peo­ple’s think­ing and per­cep­tion.

Ex­pe­ri­ences are one of the ma­jor high­lights of the Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium, of­fi­cials said. The ob­ser­va­tory will be equipped with large­cal­iber tele­scopes, al­low­ing peo­ple to ob­serve a va­ri­ety of ce­les­tial bod­ies. WenWenyi con­trib­uted to this story.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A CG im­age of the Shang­hai Plan­e­tar­ium.

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