The National Planetarium of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Planetaryo), also known as the National Museum Planetarium, was a planetarium owned and operated by the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila. It is a 16-metre (52 ft) dome located in Rizal Park between the Japanese Garden and Chinese Garden on Padre Burgos Avenue in the central district of Ermita.
The building of a space museum in Rizal Park was proposed by Philippine Weather Bureau chief and Philippine Astronomical Society founder Maximo Sacro Jr. to National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr. in 1970.
The project was presented to then National Parks and Development Committee that approved the project and immediately instructed the Bureau of Public Works to prepare plans for the building. Construction of the building began in 1974 with help from Japanese engineers.
The planetarium cost US$100,000 to build with funding provided by the Japanese government as part of its war reparation to the Philippines. The big domed-structure, with its 310-seating capacity, was designed by Filipino architect Federico S. Ilustre.
The acquisition of the GM-15 star projector and auxiliary projectors from Japan’s GOTO Inc., a newly innovated planetarium projector at that time, was also funded by the Japan Reparation Program.
Presidential Decree No. 804-A established the National Planetarium. The building was formally inaugurated on October 8, 1975 with Maximo Sacro Jr. as its first curator.
The National Planetarium was conceived to disseminate astronomical information through shows, lectures, exhibits and actual celestial observations. Exhibits that focuses on the astronomical knowledge of different Philippine ethnolinguistic groups and the contributions of Filipino scientists to modern astronomy were also displayed in the Planetarium.
References/Photos : National Museum of the Philippines website, Wikipedia
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