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The world's largest astronomy museum opens in Shanghai

Nalynn Dolan Caine |
The Shanghai Astronomy Museum, the largest astronomy museum in the world, opens to the public in Shanghai.

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Ennead Architects completes Shanghai’s Astronomy Museum which is the current record holder for the world’s largest astronomy museum. The museum is a branch of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and features a planetarium, an observatory, exhibitions and a 78-foot tall telescope.

China has deployed the three space stations with their Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”) program, unveiled the Long March 5 heavy launch rocket, and sent robotic missions to the far side of the Moon and the surface of Mars.

Here on Earth, as of July 16th, the largest museum in the world dedicated to the study of space, the Shanghai Astronomy Museum, highlight China’s accomplishments in space and astronomy.

Covering an area of approximately 58,600 square meters, the museum is located in the Lingang area of Shanghai.

Inspired by the orbits of celestial bodies and the geometry of the cosmos, the layout of the Shanghai Astronomy Museum has no straight lines or right angles. The vast inverted glass dome that sits atop the central atrium gives viewers an unimpeded view of the sky.

The planetarium theater, which is submerged in the building with its underbelly emerging from the ceiling inside. With little visible support, it creates the illusion of weightlessness and alludes to the primordial shapes of planets, stars, and other celestial objects. Last, but not least, the sphere gradually emerges into view as visitors moved around the building, resembling a Moonrise on Earth’s horizon.

The museum's exhibits include approximately 70 meteorites, covering those from the moon, Mars and Vesta, as well as over 120 collections of artifacts such as works of Isaac Newton, Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler.

Some of the lunar soil brought back by China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe will also be displayed to the public.

An educational adaptive-optics solar telescope and double-focus one-meter telescope are installed in the museum for scientific research and to popularize science. Data visualization, augmented reality, virtual reality and biometrics technologies have been introduced to help visitors gain astronomical and scientific knowledge through interaction.


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