Planetariums between experience and enlightenment


  • Achiam Marianne University of Copenhagen
  • Line Bruun Nicholaisen University of Copenhagen Planetarium (formerly Tycho Brahe Planetarium)
  • Tina Ibsen Planetarium (formerly Tycho Brahe Planetarium), Copenhagen



Science education, didactics, science centres, museum professionals, learning.


Planetariums are committed to promoting public knowledge about astronomy and space. At the same time, they have a legacy of offering spectacular and immersive experiences in their dome programmes. These outcomes do not always sit comfortably together; in fact, international research shows that many planetarium staff members consider experience and enlightenment to be mutually exclusive. In this study, we develop the argument that enlightenment and experience do not necessarily contradict each other in the planetarium context. We survey staff members from Scandinavian planetariums on their perspectives of planetarium dome programmes, and show that here, enlightenment and experience are considered to be complementary in successful planetarium dome dissemination. We discuss these findings and offer our reflections on their implications for the practice of planetariums.

Author Biographies

Achiam Marianne, University of Copenhagen

Department of Science Education, Associate Professor

Line Bruun Nicholaisen, University of Copenhagen Planetarium (formerly Tycho Brahe Planetarium)

Department of Science Education, Ph.D. Fellow

Tina Ibsen, Planetarium (formerly Tycho Brahe Planetarium), Copenhagen

Company owner




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