- Would you like to live the story of the Solar System?
- Look at the star sky through a big astronomical telescope?
- Find the answers to perpetual questions?
- Touch a real meteorite?
- Spend unusual time under the artificial sky of the planetarium?
- Weight yourself on the Moon?
- Play with interesting scientific experiments?
- Enjoy a great view of Brno?
- Find out what a scientific exploratorium is?
Then you must come to us to the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. We are a centre for popularisation of various sciences, especially in the field of inanimate nature. First of all, it is of course astronomy, but we do not avoid geology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, geography and others… And we do it all in the form which is understandable for the lay audience, entertaining and also interactive. We are not a scientific workplace, but you can meet science at every turn in our centre. It is because we are also engaged in promotion of Brno universities and big scientific projects carried out in the area of the city of Brno. Our premises are an ideal place for medium size cultural activities, as well as events of congress and incentive tourism.
Our employees are prepared to give presentations in English and German. If you come without a reservation and in a smaller group, you have to join the Czech speaking visitors. However, if agreed by prior arrangement, we are able to organize an independent excursion of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium for a bigger group of at least 10 visitors. Contact us as much in advance as possible either by e-mail of phone. The admission fee will be the same as for the Czech visitors.
What will you find in our centre?
On the cupola with a diameter of 18 meters we project several thousands stars and objects of both the near and far universe at any time and from any place on Earth. The projection device is accompanied with special projectors as well as unusual seats. The unique hall of the planetarium can also be used for congress and social events.
Interactive exhibits, samples of extraterrestrial rocks, bewildering reproductions of cosmic bodies, a unique projection system, as well as planetary scales are prepared in the underground multipurpose hall. You will live an incredible story of the Solar System, a fascinating corner of the universe, which forms our world.
Astronomical observation point
Have you seen with your eyes the spots on the Sun, craters on the Moon, the ring of Saturn, the storms and satellites of Jupiter, crescent of Venus, colour binary stars, sparking star clusters, fine nebulae and galaxies millions light years away? We can comfortably show you all of that with the help of modern automatically guided telescopes with the lens diameter of up to 35 cm.
Also the small planetarium is able to conjure up an illusion of the star sky with several conspicuous planets and the Moon on its cupola with a diameter of 8 meters. But unlike its more modern and bigger counterpart, it offers intimate atmosphere with a pleasant place to sit down.
The observation deck offers almost magical both day and night views of Brno. With your eyes, but also with the help of portable telescopes you can take a look at the night sky. Although it is not very dark, you can still see the Sun, Moon, planets of the Solar System and the most conspicuous star constellations from there.
Selling and booking of the tickets with a small astronomical shop, as well as a place to sit down with simple refreshment facilities and exhibitions, that is what the foyer of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium offers. Perhaps the most interesting is a huge picture of a small part of the constellation of Vela (Sails), where a very massive star exploded 11 thousand years ago.
About the building
The building of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium was reconstructed in modern functionalist style in 2010 and 2011 by the company Skanska a. s. Brno according to the design of the architect Martin Rudiš. Inside you can find 47 km of cables ensuring all data transfers and 25 km of electric wiring. The unique sheathing of the whole building is decorated with 8,576,389 holes. The total amount of the building investment reached CZK 92.4 million, of which CZK 65 million came from the European funds and 27.4 million from the budget of the statutory city of Brno.
A brief history
The Brno Observatory was ceremonially open on 16 October 1954. Although it was a very modest organization – all activities took place only in one cupola with a smaller telescope – still there were thousands of people visiting the place at that time.
The first significant transformation happened in 1959, when another building was finished containing a lecture hall, observation point and first of all a projection planetarium made by the company Carl Zeiss Jena, which created an illusion of the star sky on the cupola with a diameter of 8 meters. It was right there where for several next decades all educational programmes for schools and the public, fairy tales for children, series of poetry as well as scientific seminars took place.
Joining the observatory and planetarium as early as in the 1960’s resulted into a unique combination of a couple of very specific astronomical facilities, which is not very common in the world, but which offers a wide range of great opportunities in popularization of astronomy and scientific activities. The employees of the observatory and planetarium in Brno did scientific research – mainly of meteorites and variable stars. Without exaggeration we can say that at that time we became a true centre of amateur astronomical research in the then Czechoslovakia.
The interest in astronomical programmes was still increasing, so at the beginning of 1980’s the officials decided to enlarge the building, whose main part then became a hall of the big planetarium (type Spacemaster from the company Carl Zeiss Jena). Although the new projection system was already bought in 1978, the building process itself started in 1986 and then the big planetarium waited for its official opening until October 1991.
Opening of the big planetarium hall in the 1990’s meant a great challenge for the scientific staff to develop astronomical education from both theoretical and practical points of view. The premises of our organization saw the establishment of an ingenious astronomical course and clear conception of teaching astronomy, which up to now has projected into the form of all educational programmes in the hall of the big planetarium, as well as into the activities which take place under the real sky.
At the same time the swift development of astronomical technology replaced the traditional scientific research based on visual observations made by amateur astronomers. The popularization of astronomy brought permeation of various scientific disciplines, for example physical chemistry, geology, quantum physics and mathematics, which began placing big demands on general knowledge the scientific staff. The arrival of the Internet and modern and easily accessible audiovisual and optic devices also increased the demands on the content and form of all events offered for the public.
It is no wonder that in 2005 the city observatory and planetarium began preparing a transformation to a multi-visual centre, where science, art and education should permeate. Not only the building went through a transformation, but also the programme orientation, personnel and the whole style of work. The foundation stone was laid down on 7 October 2009 by 16 astronauts from Bulgaria, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia, the Russian Federation and United States of America, and Vladimír Remek, the first Czechoslovak cosmonaut, became its guarantor. The complete reconstruction was finished in August 2011 and the new Brno Observatory and Planetarium was open in November 2011.
The operation of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium is ensured by approximately twenty employees and each of them without exceptions serves about 4 thousand visitors a year. Since 1954, the Brno Observatory and Planetarium has been visited by 3 million people. There are permanently 1300 events being held under the real and artificial sky and five premieres of own spectacular performances in the hall of the big planetarium, observations of the night sky in various forms take place 200 times a year and about 30 times a year meteorological conditions enable all-night scientific astronomical observations. The founder of the Brno Observatory and Planetarium is the statutory city of Brno, which contributes about CZK 70 to every visitor.