Here goes my experience during today's visit at planetarium..
-- Parking, Tickets & Accessibility: Ample Parking in front but mostly occupied, we parked on the main road and found the car not towed after return.
Crowded Sunday so expected long queues.. but it was quick enough within 20 mins for the show we wanted (3:00pm show on Secret Lives Of Stars). Security checks were namesake and quick too.
-- First Exhibit: At sharp 3 pm, we were in and the first show started. Everybody was standing under a round showing all planets till Saturn. The speaker gave weird explanation that Pluto and Uranus are not visible to naked eyes so they are not exhibited (!!!) That poor guy was shouting on microphone giving introduction to planets one by one in 2/3 line each. In parallel, trying to keep ignorant audience quiet. That show was not really properly managed. It should have been automated voice rather than human shouting.
-- Second Exhibit: Kalpana Chawla Show: This was good and quite inspiring for every Indian. Her childhood, first flight at hometown-Karnal shown nicely. Positively they do not show her last flight which was impressive.
-- Other exhibits: Other exhibits are weight calculators on all planets, space suit to take photos, big picture that shows galaxy, milky-way and out position in it, big picture of lonar crater. These are good and self explanatory.
-- Dome Movie experience: There were two parts of movie. First was all about planets and second about stars, their life-cycle. Chairs are reclining to some extent. Kids can not stay reclined in it for long time. I took my 6 years old on my chair and reclined with me. They are not so comfy either. Movie projection was not in the center, it was more towards one side of the dome. So it was neck-paining after first 10-15 mins. Sound quality is good nevertheless you are lucky enough not to have somebody cranking his/her chairs or people with babies crying. The guard actually kicked a mom out of show with her crying baby. They should not allow small kids age less than 4 years. Picture quality is superb except few heads (may be projector guys) popping many times at the periphery of the dome. Both movies were quite informative. One about stars has tonne of information, sometimes in heavy scientific language. We saw people leaving in the mid to end of movie, might be because of cryptic language used. This could have been made more simple to understand for general audience.
-- Gift Store: This scores zero after looking at the contents, scientific gadgets and books they have. There are globe, binoculars, telescopes etc but does not attract.
-- Exit Experience: Surprisingly the person who was speaker at the first exhibit approached and inquired about our experience. At the end of conversation, he offered himself to conduct a program on planets & stars if we can form a group of 20+ Off course it was a paid offer but not sure if it was his personal service (side-business) or connected to planetarium. He also gave his cell number to us and immediately spotted other family to offer his service. We found this strange and fishy.
Overall, it is good for one time visit for kids and grown-ups. In the current world of internet, you-tube movies and NG channels on TV, this planetarium has to grow with latest, greatest exhibits and better techniques.
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