If you don't know by now, there's a planetarium here in Qatar and the best thing is, it's FREE to enter! If you love science, learning new things, astronomy, or just looking to explore, Al Thuraya Planetarium in Katara Cultural Village is worth a quick visit. Check out below what you can find inside!
NOTE: As per Katara, the planetarium is currently closed and will reopen on July 26, 2021 (10 am to 10 pm). According to the directives of the Ministry of Public Health, in the current period, less than 12 years old are not allowed to enter closed spaces.
The Al Thuraya Planetarium was opened in December 2018 just in time for Qatar National Day. The 2,240 sqm facility which caters to both young and adults alike, is named after the Pleiades star cluster. This star cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters or M45 and is visible from anywhere on the globe. The Pleiades is one of the important star clusters followed by Arabs since ancient times.
The split moon is perhaps the most popular feature of the gallery and museum, which you'll see once you enter the planetarium. This is in reference to the miracle of the splitting of the moon attributed to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
You'll find and be amazed by models of planets in various sizes - both on the ceiling and the floor, learn about the history of NASA spacesuits and see them up close, and even find out about your weight on different planets.
Visitors can also learn about astronomy, geology, atmosphere, weather, and more. The planetarium also has a terrace overlooking the sea which hosts events and activities especially during astronomical events such as eclipses.
The gallery and museum aren't that big so you'll finish looking around in less than an hour.
Aside from the main exhibit area, visitors can watch shows for free at the planetarium's dome. Featuring a 22-meter screen and state-of-the-art digital projectors, the full-dome digital system gives an interesting viewing experience to the visitors. The shows are available in English and Arabic.
The dome has a 200-people capacity but is currently reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Some of the shows that people of all ages can watch include The Stars, The Zula Patrol Show, and Perfect Little Planet. Those who want to watch the shows are urged to arrive 30 minutes before the show.
Check the July 2021 schedule here: Movie screening in Al Thuraya Planetarium
Have you been to Al Thuraya Planetarium? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments!
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