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|International Day of Planetariums|
The second Sunday in March:
It is that time again! Time to open your domes to your community and to the world.
Join us in celebrating the International Day of Planetariums on 7 or 8 March, 2020.
All planetariums, regardless of size, location, or affiliation, are invited to take part. Facilities that charge an admission are urged to make the day a free day for their communities.
Why are planetariums important? In today’s light-polluted world, many people have lost touch with the stars. Only a few can be seen over large cities, and even in some rural areas light encroachment hides the stars ofthe Milky Way. Planetariums were developed to “capture the stars” and bring them to Earth so that everyone could enjoy and learn about them.
According to the latest unofficial figures, each year 152,297,583 people visit planetariums in the world. (Ref: Loch Ness Productions,http://www.lochnessproductions.com/reference/attendance/attendance.html)
The goal of IDP is to increase that number by informing as many people as possible that planetariums exist and that learning about the stars, space exploration, and astronomy is an enjoyable life-long activity.
Goals of the International Day of Planetariums:
Suggestions for meeting goal 2, the problem of light pollution, include
Just as every nation is joined under the vault of the stars overhead, planetariums are joined in spirit and purpose under one dome.
To celebrate this fact, planetariums taking part are encouraged to partner with another facility elsewhere in the world. For example, a planetarium from an Italian city can work with a planetarium in a city from Africa, another country in Europe, Asia, or the USA.
The partnership can be as simple as
The Astronomical Center Rijeka Planetarium in Croatia has shared their Day of Planetariums documents as examples to help others prepare their events. We present them here as illustration of best practices.
The center opened in 2009, and began hosting the Day of Planetaria in 2010. In addition, the planetarium has been extremely active in public outreach:
For more information and/or to volunteer as a partner planetarium, contact any of the IPS Affiliate Representatives or
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The International Day of Planetaria was born in Italy in 1991. Conceived by the Associazione Amici dei Planetari, it became truly an international day in 1995, when other planetariums in Europe joined in the celebration. Today it also is celebrated in the United States, Australia, and Asia, and hopes are that it will continue to grow and encompass the globe. Many locations use this day as a kick off event or the culminating day of a week of special programming and activities for the public.
Originally scheduled for the Sunday before the spring equinox, the date later was set as the second Sunday in March to allow planetariums to more easily schedule in advance. The Saturday day was added to allow planetariums that are not open on Sundays to take part.
Note: Either “planetariums” or “planetaria” is an acceptable plural for more than one planetarium. It is style, however, to use the plural “planetariums” in the IPS journal Planetarian.