Glossary term: Planetarium

Description: A planetarium is a theater with specialized equipment that can be used for visualizing astronomical phenomena. Most planetaria consist of specialized projection equipment and a hemispherical dome. When stars and planets are projected onto the dome, the audience is sitting under an artificial night sky. Traditional, opto-mechanical, projectors are built specifically for simulating the night sky. Digital planetariums instead use one or more "specialized beamers", which can project not only the night sky, but any kind of moving image. This allows for "full dome movies" not only on astronomy, but on other topics – the audience can travel in a virtual spaceship, but also explore the micro-world of human DNA, for example.

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Term and definition status: This term and its definition have been approved by a research astronomer and a teacher

The OAE Multilingual Glossary is a project of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) in collaboration with the IAU Office of Astronomy Outreach (OAO). The terms and definitions were chosen, written and reviewed by a collective effort from the OAE, the OAE Centers and Nodes, the OAE National Astronomy Education Coordinators (NAECs) and other volunteers. You can find a full list of credits here. All glossary terms and their definitions are released under a Creative Commons CC BY-4.0 license and should be credited to "IAU OAE".