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Italian Association of Planetaria
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Affiliate Representative: 

Loris Ramponi

National Archive of Planetaria
C/O Centro Studi e Ricerche Serafino Zani
via Bosca 24, C.P. 104
I 25066 Lumezzane (Brescia) ITALY
+39 30 872 164
+39 30 872 545 fax


Webmaster - Gabriele Umbriaco

Newsletter: Newsletter of the Italian Association of Planetaria (in Italian) by Gianluca Ranzini and Dario Tiveron


 About Loris:

I’m the founder and the secretary of the national Association of Planetaria (since 1986) and the coordinator of Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory and Planetarium and other organizations.

I promote the prize “Two weeks in Italy” and other Italian initiatives open to everyone in the world. My purpose is to invite other colleagues to do the same, because all these activities can increase IPS programs.

Loris Ramponi (left) with Stephen Case, the 2016 Week in Italy winner Loris Ramponi (left) with Stephen Case, the 2016 Week in Italy winner


There are 33 IPS members among the very active Italian Association of Planetaria (PlanIt). The total number of Italian planetariums is at least 150.

The Italian Association of Planetaria organizes each April a National Conference open to everyone.


The XXXIV national PLANit conference (April 2019) has been hosted by INAF Observatory of Cagliari. During the meeting has been held the workshop “Space robot” by planetarium staff. Next year the national conference will be held probably in the Science and Technique Foundation Museum of Florence. PLANit conferences are open to everyone, not only for association members.

The yearly “PLANit Prize " (VII edition) has been appointed to Nicola Bonomo for a tribute to the 50° anniversary of Apollo 11. "Moon 2019" is the title of the video, produced by 3Des in collaboration with Mark Rutherford School, that has been presented during the National meeting of Italian Planetariums in Cagliari. The video shows a significant improvement compared to the productions that have participated in this award to date. The contents and the narrative structure are well balanced, and the soundtrack enriches the video of an effective emotional component, which is functional to the involvement of the public. The Saturn V launch scene is particularly sophisticated.

The duplicate of the winner product is available for PLANit members, therefore at the moment our members received 7 different videos. PLANit invites IPS Affiliates to organize in their countries similar prizes and to share the winner products. The deadline of the next prize will be on 26 March 2020. The prize is 500 euro.

The 2019 winner of Two weeks in Italy prize, organized by IPS Portable Planetarium Committee in collaboration with the astronomical facilities of Brescia and Lumezzane (Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory), “StarLight… a handy planetarium” association (Perugia) and the Astronomical Center of Farra d’Isonzo (Gorizia), has been appointed to Chrysta Ghent (Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA). Students and the public from the cities of Perugia, Spoleto, Assisi, Brescia, Lumezzane and Gorizia participated in conferences and lessons that involved Chrysta as lecturer. Chrysta taught about the Solar system, the Moon, Native American star stories and Italian astronomers, and in Assisi she held a workshop for teachers about "New ideas to teach the Moon". The two weeks traveling and teaching in Italy will likely inspire Chrysta to share all that she has learned with her audience at the Liberty Science Center.

Pages of Stars” is a competition, organized by IPS Portable Planetarium Committee in collaboration with Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory, that was designed to build a collection of short audio clips that can easily be shared among planetarians. Last March, on the occasion of the International Day of Planetaria, the winner received a plate certificate. Audio and texts are available on the web page of IPS Portable Planetarium Committee,

2019 winner is Mark Percy (Clarence, New York, USA) for 18 audio recordings from Skylore from Planet Earth: stories from around the world…ORION. The written text is by Dayle L. Brown and the narration by Paula McGirr.

Marco Avalos Dittel (Planetario Aventura, San José, Costa Rica) received an honorable mention for “Script for an astronomy program ending”. The script conveys a sense of awe and wonder while giving the audience a challenge to make consequential decisions as citizens of Universe.

PlanItalia is a national project promoted by PlanIt that involves many planetariums around a Solar System in scale calculated for the Italian country. The planetary orbits are drawn on the Italian map and include different sites of planetariums, from Padua (the Sun) to Catania (Neptune). The project is coordinated by Simonetta Ercoli, by “StarLight…a handy planetarium” association ( Each year PlanItalia members are involved by PLANit in the organizations of public special events that are held the same day in different cities. During the year 2019 the annual program include the “Day of Planetariums”, a special date, 19-20 July. In the occasion of the 50° Apollo 11 anniversary, and the National day against light pollution.

Voices From the Dome” project, promoted by Serafino Zani Astronomical Observatory, is on line on the IPS website. This project is designed to create a database of planetarians’ voices. Every planetarian can contribute to this copyright free digital archive. The audio database, at the moment, is divided in four languages: English, French, German, and Italian. Planetarians from different countries are invited to collaborate in the project including also their languages. These audio files can be used in a live planetarium show in the dome or during a lesson with students that learn English or other languages. It is very easy to send new audio file (mp3 format) about any subject useful under the star sky of the planetarium.

PLANit has started a collaboration with the Italian press office of PJ Masks, popular cartoon characters with 3-6 year targets. During the year 2019, events will take place in some Italian planetariums linked to a new series of PJ Mask on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon. During the events there will be meetings related to the Moon, workshops for children, and there will be the participation of the PJ Mask costume characters. The aim is to bring children of preschool age with their families closer to the planetariums.

In September, some planetary members of PLANit will have the opportunity to host at no cost Massimo Tarenghi, an Italian astrophysicist who created the NTT (New Technology Telescope), the first telescope with active optics installed today in La Silla (Chile), and who was the project manager of the Paranal and ALMA observatories. The meetings are held thanks to a sponsorship of, an Italian tour operator that realizes photographic themed journeys, and that is opening up to itineraries dedicated to astronomical themes, such as the total solar eclipses. It is an opportunity to host in some planetariums one of the leading Italian and world astrophysicists, who revolutionized ground-based astronomy instruments.

Affiliate Reports to Council


Last updated: 5 July 2019


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