KOZHIKODE: Did you know that the Regional Science Centre and Planetarium here holds the distinction of being the most visited among the 28 planetariums in the country? As per data, 5.75 lakh people visited the planetarium in 2017-18.
When the planetarium started functioning in 1997, the annual footfall was just 78,000, which means there has been a more than sevenfold increase in the number of visitors. As a result, the planetarium’s annual income rose from Rs 10 lakh in 1997-98 to Rs 1.5 crore in 2017-18.“The programmes and galleries here are designed and developed in such a way that both students and families can learn more about the complexities of the cosmic world in a simple way with the help of working and interactive models,” said planetarium director V S Ramachandran.
“We periodically upgrade the galleries and ensure regular maintenance of the exhibits and machineries. It was after 2007 that the science centre was upgraded in such a way that it became more striking for both children and grown-ups. And this attracted more visitors. Now, this is a place for education, entertainment and enjoyment,” he said.“A majority of visitors are students. But, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of families visiting the centre these days.
Earlier, the break-up was 70 per cent students and 30 per cent families. However, the visitors’ ratio has changed to 60:40 in recent years,” he said.The 230-seater planetarium featuring a hybrid projection system enables visitors to explore the secrets of the universe, planets and stars. The Hall of Astronomy, HD 3D theatre, fun science gallery, mirror magic gallery and science park are among the centre’s other attractions.
The Hall of Ocean gallery, developed at a cost of Rs 70 lakh, was opened to the public last week.