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The Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium

Submitter: Roy Smits
Description: On a sunny yet windy Sunday a group of ASTRON astronomers (plus family) made a trip to Franeker to visit the oldest operational planetarium in the world: The Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium http://www.planetarium-friesland.nl/engels.html

This unique planetarium was constructed from 1774 to 1781 by Eise Eisinga, making it 232 years old! It was built into the roof of his living-room. Located on the floor above is the remarkable clockwork that drives this orrery. Along with the planets, this device also shows the time and date, phases of the moon and other astronomical phenomena. Even today it runs without any electricity. All that is required, is to pull up the weights once in a while, and to adjust for the leap-day once every four years, and to replace the year numbers every decade.

Eise Eisinga was a Dutch amateur astronomer. All the mathematics and astronomy that allowed him to produce his real-time model of the Solar-system was acquired by self-study.

Franeker also happens to be the birthplace of the famous Dutch astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort, one of the most important pioneers in the field of radio astronomy. A commemorative plaque marks the house in which he was born.
Copyright: Copyright Roy Smits + Neeraj Gupta
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