Starting in 1995, Frank Kovac took ten years constructing a mechanical globe planetarium of his own design despite having no prior engineering experience. The Kovac Planetarium in Monico Wisconsin is only the fourth of its kind ever built as well as being the largest in history at 4000 pounds and 22 feet in diameter.
What makes the design special is how it simulates the motion of the stars through the night sky. Traditional planetariums use a centrally located star projector that has full range of motion to manipulate the star field. Kovac’s design moves the entire globe above and around the audience, shifting positions of the thousands of stars he meticulously scribed using glow-in-the-dark paint. [via StoryCorps]
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