Yesterday evening I brought my first visit to the Yaroslavl planetarium. I’d already often passed it by car and bike – a fascinating view – but had not gone in yet.
The planetarium was built only 5 years ago and was named after Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space, who was originally from the Yaroslavl region. When entering the lobby, you’re right away face to face with her, as you can’t miss her huge picture in stained glass opposite the entrance.
We were very lucky because – unexpectedly – we got a chance to look at the moon through the observatory’s telescope! Needless to say it was amazing; a magical experience. The guide also gave us some explanations about the moon, other planets and meteorites (a piece of which we got to see and hold from a huge, millions-of-years old crater in Ukraine) and the planetarium in general. And that just for the three of us!
Afterwards we visited the space travel museum, which shows the history of astronautics, from the first hot air balloon to the present exploration of Mars and other planets. On one of the first panels, I was surprised to find a piece of home: a picture of a hot air balloon in Antwerp at a World’s Fair in 1894!
I was very lucky to have Russian friends with, me, though, because both the guide’s and the museum’s explanations were only in Russian. Like Nicole Kidman would say: Hey, what did you expect? Unfortunately the movies shown in the dome-shaped auditorium are also predominantly in Russian – exceptions are usually only made for large non-Russian speaking groups. But the planetarium’s staff was very friendly and helpful and upon our request they’re going to make efforts to project an English-spoken movie about the birth of stars soon! So it’ll definitely not have been my last visit there….