Visit to the Planetarium!

Friday, April 6, 2012

On 31st March 2012, I celebrated Earth Hour at the National Planetarium :D

"What?! Since when did we have a national planetarium???"
That was my first response when I heard our astronomy club was planning to visit the national planetarium for Earth Hour Day :P I bet some of you also had that same response if you didn't know we had one...

But of course, our planetarium (unfortunately) isn't as fully equipped with high-end technology as the ones in other countries.

Cool side thing... my friend Nicola HAS BEAUTIFUL NAILS painted like the night sky and outer space!






The atmosphere was filled with excitement and enthusiasm by people with interests alike. Most of them were all there for one sole reason: to be amazed by Malaysia's starry night without the interference of light pollution. And to be around people who enjoy looking at God's creation in the sky too. But, we were too naive.

Anyways at 8.30pm, the planetarium turned off their lights to show their support for Earth hour. And they supplied their visitors with DIY lantern materials! But we didn't make a lantern. We took glow sticks instead.


When the lights turned off, you could hear the sounds of people ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the sight of colourful, glowing lanterns and glow sticks in the dark. I was probably one of them :)

Our surroundings were so dark, I didn't really get to see the planetarium as a whole. It had a huge dome on top and flights of stairs from the courtyard to the main entrance, but that's all I could make out in the dark.


They had telescopes set up for us visitors to look through. I saw the moon, Mars and supposedly Saturn.

But honestly, the people working there didn't even know their stuff. Liiyung saw a reddish bright dot in the sky, and told us it was Mars. She took her iPhone out and used some astronomy app to make sure. Yup, it was Mars. But the guy who handled the telescope, told it was Saturn o.O

We went for a night walk around the planetarium. The purpose of the night walk is to see KL in total darkness because all the lights were off during earth hour. Well, they were SUPPOSE to be off. Unfortunately, the night walk didn't meet its purpose (and it was really boring actually), because KL's skyline was still shining oh-so-brightly. All the buildings' and houses' lights were on. And the irony was... Tenaga Nasional Berhad's building was probably one of the buildings which shone the brightest that night LOL

And that was how naive we were, thinking that most people would turn off their lights for Earth Hour? *scoff*

So after the devastatingly boring night walk which did not live up to my expectations, we decided to go for the real thing. The Planetarium! It was like Petrosains (@ KLCC) inside. With the exhibitions and written information on the walls. They had this section with breathtaking pictures that photographers took of the sky, day and night. To be honest, astrophotography looks really interesting <3

We also went in this anti-gravity room! More like for children, but we went in anyways. Hey, you can't blame us, there was a slide :P!



Other interesting stuff:


Periodic table



Astronaut training

Nicola in her space pod

Sundial

Oops, forgot what this is. But looks interesting ;)

Taking a picture of the moon with a phone through a telescope

Here's a picture of the real moon that I took with my iPod with the aid of a telescope:


It's a beaut, eh? I couldn't believe my eyes at first :O I know, we've seen tons of pictures of the Moon on TV or the internet, but seeing it with your own eyes on a screen of your iPod, is a marvelous feeling. Not the type of feeling you can get by seeing pictures. This is the real thing!

We looked up in the sky, and saw two bright thick lines in the sky. It looked like spacecrafts! It was stationary, it didn't move and it just stayed there for a long time. We were really curious and asked around, but no one knew what it was either.



Freaky.

We didn't have much time, and we were in quite a rush, so we just passed through everything. Didn't really read through the information in detail.

In the end, the event was not even about Earth hour for me. It was mostly about how much more I knew about astronomy (which wasn't much anyways LOL) and it strengthened my interest for astronomy. :)

Okay I'm getting sleepy and trying to end this post quickly lol goodnightzz :D

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