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London Planetarium

845 of 1160 nominations


London Planetarium

Is this an icon?


London Planetarium

When the London Planetarium opened its doors in 1958, we had a quite different idea about outer space to what we know today. For starters, no man had ever been to space, let alone walked on the moon; we had no Hubble telescope, no space shuttles, no Apollo missions. But now, nearly five decades on, the boffins at NASA are currently working on a mission to distant Pluto…

And over all that time, every day, schoolchildren, Londoners and visitors to the capital have been awestruck by the Planetarium’s shows, breathtaking journeys to the edges of our solar system, our galaxy and beyond. And as the boundaries of exploration have been pushed further and further, the technology used to take us on the journey has become every year more advanced (recently the top-of-the-range Digistar 3 has been showing what it can do) and audiences more rapt by it. With the recent announcement that the distinctive green-domed building will in future be used not as a planetarium but to investigate a quite different kind of star – a celebrity show is to open in summer 2006 – it’s a good time to consider the importance of this much loved site. An icon, perhaps?

Photo: George Lewin


Your comments

For almost fifty years it has amazed and inspired children and adults with its space shows - there's nothing in the country like it. Even the outside of the building is a famous and familiar London landmark.

Daniel Hahn

As it's just about to be dumbed-down do people REALLY think this is an English icon. If so of what we were or are?????
Bernard Edwards



My nomination is the garden shed.