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16 Incredible Planetarium Projectors

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I'm a big planetarium fan. What could be more fun than sitting still in a big dark room and looking at stuff, while somebody talks about the cosmos and the sweep of time and stuff? No, seriously -- that's big fun for me. Planetariums combine the fun of sitting with the joy of staring. Also: darkness punctuated by points of light, and sometimes video. So I was delighted to come across a link to sixteen incredible planetarium projectors at object/design site Oobject.

These projectors look like crazy Brazil-style brain-sucking devices, complete with crazy insect-like legs and plenty of shiny, pointy things. Here's a bit of text from the article:

For sheer baroque complexity of appearance, planetarium projectors are among the most amazing gizmos ever built. They range from enormous machines more than 20 ft. high to a soccer ball sized $300 home version.

Their purpose is a bizarre reversal of a large optical telescope, taking an internal view of the universe and projecting it on a dome, rather than creating a view from peering outside of one, but the aesthetic is somewhat similar. Another curious similarity is how much they look like some early satellites.

Check out the full list -- my favorite is the Calcutta Planetarium Zeiss Projector (pictured above).


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George Frey/Getty Images
Stare All You Want at These Photos of the Solar Eclipse
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George Frey/Getty Images

It’s Superman’s worst nightmare: the complete disappearance of the Sun from our perch on Earth. For non-Kryptonians, it’s a rare and awesome chance to see a unique spectacle that hasn’t happened for 99 years. Multitudes gathered Monday to observe the solar eclipse, a complete obstruction of the sun’s rays by the moon in an epic galactic photo-bombing. Here’s how stargazers across the country greeted the astronomy event.

Artist Orion Fredericks created this art installation, 'Exsucitare Triectus,' for the public at the Oregon Eclipse Festival in Ochoco National Forest.
Image Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Twitter user Doug McArthur of Portland finds a novel way of avoiding direct eye contact.

Observers at Cal State Fullerton utilize a USPS-approved method for observing the eclipse safely.

That tiny little blemish isn't a bug on your screen: It's the International Space Station transiting the sun during the eclipse.

Pictured: an unidentified man and Zuul, Gatekeeper of Gozer.

The 'diamond ring' effect as seen from the Lowell Observatory in Madras, Oregon.
Image Credit: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Another novel way to avoid retina damage while enjoying the spectacle.

Through a portal in Kansas City, Kansas.

Boston gets its view of the celestial sensation.

The safest way to be in awe.
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pretty pictures
9 Exhilarating Close-Up Photos of Sharks
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Dive into the world of Shark, a new book by award-winning photographer Brian Skerry.


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