The year 2018 is a special year for the Planetarium. Not only is it a year filled with Frisian culture but also the 250th anniversary of when Eise and his wife Pietje moved to the city of Franeker in 1768 to start their own wool carding business. In the same house in which he would start work on his Planetarium six years later. And in 1818, exactly 200 years ago, King Willem I came to Franeker to admire this amazing feat.
Much has happened in the field of astronomy over the last 250 years. When Eisinga built his Planetarium, Saturn was the farthest known planet from the Sun. Since then, we have discovered not only more planets in our solar system but also thousands of planets orbiting other stars. And this year, the TESS space telescope has started searching for planets that could harbour life. Does our Earth have a sister planet?
While Eise used the Planetarium in his living room to explain how gravity keeps the Moon revolving around the Earth, astronomer Stephen Hawking later has taught us a lot about the nature of black holes. The gravitational pull of black holes is so strong that even light travelling at a speed of 300,000 kilometres an second cannot escape.
This is just one of the many discoveries made in recent years. The exhibition entitled “From ‘Long Live the House of Orange’ to Black Holes” presents the iconic moments in the history of the Planetarium as well as the discoveries made about our universe in the last 250 years.