Al Thuraya Planetarium draws people of all ages
April 14 2019 11:00 PM
A visitors tries some of the interactive features of Al Thuraya Planetarium. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
A visitors tries some of the interactive features of Al Thuraya Planetarium. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar

Katara – the Cultural Village’s Al Thuraya Planetarium, described as the first astronomical dome in Qatar, has been attracting people of all ages to discover the outer space through a variety of documentaries and movies in Arabic and English.

In a statement, Katara noted that children get the chance “to explore our solar system through different set of eyes in ‘The perfect little planet’ movie, which introduces a family from another star seeking the perfect holiday spot.”

Equipped with the state-of-the art projectors featuring 2D and 3D tutorial shows, Al Thuraya Planetarium also screens other films as “The Universe” and “The Astronaut”, providing the audience with basic astronomy information in an interesting way.

“I was really impressed with Al Thuraya’s interactive features, which makes it more interesting to discover and learn more about our galaxy,” said Christine T Rodriguez, who was visiting Qatar for a week.

She also finds the facility’s programmes “an effective way to teach children about astronomy beyond the four corners of the classroom.”

The 2,240sqm area facility opened in December 2018 and was named after Thuraya (Seven Sisters) – a cluster of seven bright stars known as ‘The Pleiades M45. It has become one of the main attractions at Katara.

According to Katara, the Planetarium’s operating system (Digistar) has unique features such as ‘Domecasting.’ It enables other theatres and domes in the world, which has the same system, to broadcast live presentations between each other.

Such capability allows other galleries to meet and watch live performances and experiment simultaneously, including live presentations in the dome.

The facility, Katara added, provides information about Earth Science, containing over 200 unique data sets in five categories: astronomy, atmosphere, geology and the oceans. This includes more than 25 terrestrial weather data, solar data sets and a number of awareness presentations by professional trainers.

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