The Eise Eisinga Planetarium

Posted by on December 29th,2006

Eise Eisinga Planatarium

It is my very sad duty to inform you that in the year 1774, on Sunday the 8th of May, there was a conjuction of Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon and the resultant gravitational pull yanked the Earth out of its orbit and careening into the sun, to be burned to a frazzle. Terribly sorry about that, and all. (Now there’s a plot for a Steampunk short.) Well, so maybe it didn’t happen, but the Leeuwarden Newspaper in Friesland thought that it was going to – and published a warning to all. Of course, Mr Eise Eisinga knew it to be terror-fuelling rubbish and thought it better to show people, than to tell. So he converted a room of a house into a planatarium to demonstrate the orbits and distances involved – it took him seven-ish years.

I have to thank the submitter known enigmatically as C.S. for pointing this out – the planatarium is the oldest working planatarium still around and made mostly of oak in the ceiling space of the room where it is built. Marvelous work, and filled with quirks. The official site for the museum is here (English version, but there’s more info on the Dutch site) and theres a very informative unofficial site in English too.