The Jo’burg Planetarium was the first full-sized planetarium in Africa and only the second one in the southern hemisphere. The City of Johannesburg wanted to celebrate Johannesburg’s 70th birthday with a planetarium and bought a projector from the city of Hamburg. The city then sold the projector to the University of the Witwatersrand for use in the formal instruction of students. The construction of the planetarium building on the university grounds started in 1959 and the doors opened to the public on 12 October 1960.
The whole experience gave off an air of being in need of an update. The show still refers to Pluto as a planet, and I was a bit disappointed at the lack of pretty much anything resembling a display in the foyer except for some books, but my husband correctly called it a “first world pain” since the two kids clearly loved the outing!
Image credits: All photography by me