South Downs Planetarium

Have you ever wondered what a lunar eclipse looks like? Or wanted to see the Aurora Borealis?

View provided by the Hubble TelescopeWell you can in Chichester, at one of the largest planetariums in the country. Using a projector to display life-like images on the domed ceiling, the South Downs Planetarium is the place to learn about astronomy and the constellations that light up our skies at night. The effect is so realistic it’s easy to forget that you’re actually sitting indoors.

The projections are entertaining as well as educational. Once in a lifetime celestial events are re-created before your very eyes. See how the stars and planets really move across the sky in a process that would normally take years to observe.

Can’t wait to see a real-life comet? At the South Downs Planetarium, comets whiz across the sky and you can see shooting stars and some of the most recognisable constellations, including Orion’s Belt, Scorpio and the Big Dipper. With topical talks and events, there is always something fascinating to learn about the sky above and what to look out for on clear evenings.

Fasten your seat belts for the trip of a lifetime....

Springtime stars, moons and planetsEnjoy the seven wonders of the solar system with no need to worry about the clouds spoiling your view. From hot little Mercury, closest planet to the Sun, past cloud-covered Venus, beautiful blue Earth and Red Mars we head for the outer planets. Through the rocky reaches of the asteroid belt beyond Mars, we speed pass giant Jupiter, Saturn with its beautiful rings, blue-green Uranus and on to deep blue Neptune, last of the giant planets. Beyond lie the icy dwarfs of the Kuiper Belt - worlds like Pluto and Eris.

There’s even a special show for budding astronauts who dream of blasting off into space in an imaginary spacecraft.

If astronomy leaves you star-struck, South Downs Planetarium is the place to discover more and with Sir Patrick Moore as patron, it has impressive credentials. So the next time the stars are out put your newfound knowledge to the test.

Check for the forthcoming shows here. They last about an hour and, with limited seating available, you are advised to book in advance.

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