Who We Are
Equinox was formed in April 2003 with the sole purpose of propagating the science of Astronomy.
Equinox conducts planetarium shows for schools within the school itself. This is made possible with the help of our State-of-the-art PORTABLE PLANETARIUM SYSTEM
The core activity of the organization is to conduct ASTRONOMY and SCIENCE related educational programs for schools. Our shows are INTERACTIVE; an experienced seasoned Astronomer takes the students through the shows in an interactive manner befitting the age and knowledge of participating audience.
Equipped with a wide array of projections, Equinox shows create a unique learning environment for virtually every level of education. Accuracy and precision is the hallmark of the Planetarium. Our Planetarium shows are engineered to stir the mind of the young such that their curiosity to explore becomes an insatiable hunger. Our objective is to make every young individual ask that most important question “Why“?
Equinox also endeavors to fulfill one of the objectives laid down in the fundamental duties prescribed by the Constitution of India under PART [IV-A] Article 15, (h)
Which states: “It shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen of the country to develop scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”
We are the first ones to initiate the radical concept of portable planetariums in India, and have always been using the latest projection technologies that are present in the world. We at Equinox also understand that it is not enough to use the best optics and projection technology, the real essence of astronomy teaching is in first understanding that studying our solar system our galaxy and the universe is a curious combination of the objective and the fantastic. Astronomy education involves the most abstract and complicated of ideas-concepts of time, space, and distance - often difficult even for adults to comprehend, let alone children. This is where our Planetarium Educators come in, the quality of our Educators is by far the best and the most
experienced in this highly specialized field. The ability to recreate the wonders and mysteries of the universe through a planetarium offers us a powerful tool for enriching the lives of the students of our nation, especially when the planetarium can come right at their doorsteps. Students are fascinated by the subject of astronomy and the workings of the planetarium. The planetarium is a tool in the educational process that in the hands of a skilled educator can open young minds as well as minds of all ages to explore the cosmos and comprehend some of its complexities. Teachers who have the opportunity to use a planetarium have one of the happiest of professions. We enjoy what we do and believe that our work in communicating the excitement of astronomy and other sciences to thousands of students a year is important.
Since inception in April 2003 till today 2013, Equinox has successfully conducted Planetarium shows for over 650 schools across 15 states of our Nation and whilst doing so has achieved exceptional feedback and recommendations.
Having achieved the above, it is worth mentioning that in India, We are the PIONEERS in the field of designing and conducting interactive portable planetarium shows for Schools along the length and breadth of our Nation.
Other than Schools EQUINOX under its corporate social responsibility conducts many workshops for the underprivileged and children of special needs.
By the very nature of the Planetarium, which is portable, the organization 's core activity remains to visit Schools, Institutions, and Rural Outback, not to mention Institutes for special children at their location.
Equinox' portable planetarium is an inflatable dome capable of accommodating up to 100 children. The Equinox planetarium is installed within a mere 45 minutes in the school itself. It essentially negates unnecessary field trips to fixed Planetariums which besides being time consuming also disturb the regular time-table of schools. This makes it beneficial even for schools located in cities with concrete planetariums. Each class in order to visit the planetarium only forgoes one period and the rest of the school can function within the parameters of its routine.
There is very little doubt in the minds of anyone who steps into our planetarium, that it has a unique ability to draw everyone into a wonderful and magical world of astronomy - from novices to experts, from kindergarteners to grandparents, from students to teachers. The sky we see each night reveals many mysteries of our existence. By looking and listening to those distant worlds, today we know so much more about the origins of the universe, the nature of our galaxy, the composition of our Solar System, and the condition of our home - Earth.
The EQUINOX PLANETARIUM is a big round dome that's shaped like an upside-down bowl. The round ceiling is called the dome. At a time 100 to 140 visitors can sit around the periphery inside the dome. In the middle of the dome is a State-of-the-art Digital Projection system. This Projection System uses latest Astronomy software tools and projects a life like and an all-around projection of 360 degrees view of Stars/ Planets / Moon / Galaxies / Constellations.
Inside the dome, the "stars" in the planetarium are all in the same places as are the stars in the real sky, and all of the famous shapes, or constellations, can be seen.
Equinox' planetarium includes everything needed to present educational interactive, exciting, and fun presentations that could be adapted to the National Curriculum of every grade level for subjects like Astronomy, Earth Sciences (Weather, Plate Tectonics), Physical science, Geography, Weather patterns and Navigation.
Inside the dome, a projector is not only able to show us the night sky devoid of any light pollution; Audience also sees brilliant, needle-sharp images and virtually become part of the action, being in the middle of the scene rather than merely below it. This is full Immersion, 'THE FULL DOME TECHNOLOGY'.
The PLANETARIUM is practically like a space vehicle that can take you to any place in the universe. We can travel to the Moon, to Jupiter, or see the cold landscape of Pluto. As the show progresses the sky changes slowly, the constellations of any season or any time of night can be seen.
A show usually starts with a sunset in the west, and as the lights slowly go out, the stars begin to appear. The planetarium sky, complete with the Milky Way, makes it seem as if you're really in space! The Powerful Projection system can show realistic and detailed terrain imagery and topographic data for all the planets.
You literally fly through the solar system, to other stars, and even outside of the Milky Way galaxy, view other galaxies in extensive 3d views. The PLANETARIUM has the ability to show 3d models of irregular bodies such as asteroids or space crafts. The Planetarium is a unique education tool, which helps comprehend as well as stirs the minds of the young towards Man's final frontier of space.
Accuracy and precision is the hallmark of the Planetarium.
It can simulate the sky from any point on Earth or from other planets and moons. We can Move forward or backward in time at varying speeds, simulate the solar system over a two million year time range. Show annual motion, including retrograde planetary motion. Simulate celestial phenomena such as transits, eclipses, and meteor showers. Display orbits of the planets and moons.
You can see the sky of any time place and can even travel back to the first Christmas, 2000 years ago, and find out what the famous star of Bethlehem might really have been!
. . . and it's almost like waking up from a dream.
DOME: The fabric is a blackout type and fire retardant. Its complete opacity ensures optimum darkness and thus rendering the best night sky possible inside the dome, regardless of the lighting outside the dome.
Access and Egress: The two meter high entrance is easily opened and closed with a double-sided, easy to grasp zipper, facilitating a comfortable, safe and quick access to the dome. The Bottom of the Dome is entirely open that allows fast easy exit, including for those who are differently abled and on wheelchair.
Internal Environment: A powerful fan inflates and circulates air throughout the dome. Air is exchanged every five minutes through a carefully designed ventilation system which maintains a comfortable and a relaxed environment inside the Dome. The planetarium has no climate control of its own, so whatever the room temperature is will be the temperature inside the dome. Because the fan keeps the air circulating continuously through the dome, it is usually several degrees cooler inside the Planetarium than out.
Dimensions and Setup Requirements: The Dome comes in two sizes, Standard & Giant.
For the Standard Dome a height of 10.5 feet is required in the center of the Room with no sharp or Hot objects (like sprinklers or incandescent bulb) coming in contact with the Dome. The floor should be CLEAN, SMOOTH and have a clear space of 25 X 25 Feet.
For The Giant Dome a 13.5 foot ceiling and an open floor space of 27 X 27 Feet. It is most often set up in gymnasium, large multi-purpose room, cafeteria or Auditorium. The Dome can also be set up in a room with slightly lower ceiling (up to a foot as long as there are no sharp or hot ob jects).
We are blessed with perhaps the most intrinsically exciting topic in school, the topic of Stars, Planets, Galaxies and the Universe. Yet we find that even very interested and engaged students leave astronomy courses enthused but lacking true applicable understanding of the field.
The world too has changed over the past years, and so has the sky. Light pollution is now a problem for virtually every student or amateur astronomer. It is rare to find students, of any grade level, who have regularly seen the Milky Way with their own eyes. Sometimes it is only inside a Planetarium that a child gets his first view a clear star studded sky devoid of any light pollution.
Astronomy education involves the most abstract and complicated of ideas-concepts of time, space, and distance - often difficult even for adults to comprehend, let alone children. It doesn't feel like the Earth is spinning through space at 2000 Km/hour; instead, it appears that the Sun is moving across the sky. Astronomy education asks students to disregard belief in what they observe and rather accept scientific explanations that seem to defy their experience. Thereby giving shape to the fragmented knowledge which students have in terms of the Universe.
Equinox planetarium shows are incredibly precise, interactive & exciting. The innovative design of the Planetarium creates an ideal environment for hands-on minds-on activities. These planetarium shows help students experience theory in practice, develop their critical thinking abilities and problem solving skills, guide them to record observations, make predictions test their ideas and above all trigger scientific thinking. Our Planetarium shows are engineered to stir the mind of the young such that their curiosity to explore becomes an insatiable hunger. Our objective is to make every young individual ask that most important question -Why-?
We have shows for virtually every level of intellect. The shows are conducted by experienced and seasoned astronomers in an interactive manner congruent to the age and knowledge of participating audience, since it is an interactive show, students can ask questions in between. Equipped with a limitless array of projection possibilities, Equinox shows create a unique learning environment for virtually every level of education.
Like many tools, through time and experience, better ways of using it and improving the end result have emerged. The “Participatory Oriented Planetarium” (POP) technique used by us is one that has been shown to be an effective method for using a small planetarium, especially in a school setting. In a POP program, a live presenter (a teacher or a skilled astronomer) asks questions to provoke two way interactions with the audience, and hands-on activities involve the participants in learning about the subject matter of the show through their own actions.
To get detailed grade wise information on the shows, please write to us along with your personal details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What is a portable planetarium?
- A Portable Planetarium is an inflatable dome and multimedia planetarium that allows vivid computer-generated images to be shown inside it. It is portable and can be set up indoors under half an hour so it really can be used in the classroom!
- What is it for?
- Studying the universe means that you are often faced with concepts that are difficult to understand. The Planetarium captivates the imagination and makes concepts like lunar phases, the evolution of stars and extraterrestrial life easier to grasp.
- How many people can be accommodated in the Equinox Planetarium?
- About 100 children or 65 adults.
- What is the duration of the Show?
- The show usually lasts for 40 min.Though depending upon the interest involvement shown by the students, Equinox does not stipulate any time frame, our motive is to answer and clarify every query of the students. On a rare occasion the show has also lasted up to a 100 min.
- How Many shows can be done in one day?
- This depends on the schedule of the School and how much of their time are they willing to allocate for the students to Visit the Planetarium. Generally we always get time for conducting minimum of 4 shows each day, though even 6 shows are convenient conducted sometimes.
- What classes are eligible for the show?
- The shows are designed grade level wise keeping in mind the understanding level of the audience. All classes starting from Class I to XII are eligible.
- What classes are eligible for the show?
- The shows are designed grade level wise keeping in mind the understanding level of the audience. All classes starting from Class I to XII are eligible.
- What kind of room is required to set up the planetarium?
- For the Standard Dome a height of 10.5 feet is required in the center of the Room with no sharp or Hot objects (like sprinklers or incandescent bulb) coming in contact with the Dome and have a clear space of 25 X 25 Feet.For The Giant Dome a 13.5 foot ceiling and an open floor space of 27 X 27 Feet. It is most often set up in gymnasium, large multi-purpose room, cafeteria or Auditorium. The Dome can also be set up in a room with slightly lower ceiling (up to a foot low as long as there are no sharp or hot objects coming in contact).Two 220 Volts Ac Outlets are required in or around the room, we have extension cords. The floor should be CLEAN, SMOOTH, and the Room must always be in a QUIET area. Preferably an air-conditioned area in which the temperature can be lowered, however, this is not a requisite.
- How long does it take to set up and take down the planetarium?
- It takes about45 minutes to set up the entire Planetarium system.At the end of the day, if the planetarium can be left in place on the floor, then only about 10 minutes is needed for the dome to deflate. In case the entire setup is to be removed from the hall/room, then about an Hour to collapse the dome, pack it up and stow everything back in the duffel bags and cases.
- How do I get in? Do I need to crawl?
- The two meter high entrance is easily opened and closed with a double-sided, easy to grasp zipper, facilitating a comfortable, safe and quick access to the dome. The Bottom of the Dome is entirely open that allows fast easy exit, including for those who are differently abled and on wheelchair.
- Can the planetarium accommodate the physically challenged?
- Because of its unique design, the Planetarium can accommodate visitors who are restricted to wheelchairs, have walkers or are otherwise physically challenged. Instead of having these individuals use the entrance tunnel, they can enter and exit the planetarium by going in and out under the edge of the dome.
- Is it hot or stuffy in there?
- A powerful fan inflates and circulates air throughout the dome. Air is exchanged every five minutes through a carefully designed ventilation system which maintains a comfortable temperature. The planetarium has no climate control of its own, so whatever the room temperature is will be the temperature inside the dome. Because the fan keeps the air circulating continuously through the dome, it is usually several degrees cooler inside the Planetarium than out. Even so, in very hot climates, it is best to set up the planetarium in an air-conditioned room.
- Can the planetarium be set up outside?
- Even though it is tempting, the Planetarium can never be set up outdoors. Moisture can damage the fan and projection system and direct sunlight on the dome will make it deteriorate faster. In addition, when inflated, the Planetarium is quite buoyant so even a slight wind will cause it to shift position.
It gives me immense pleasure to recommend Equinox for their planetarium Shows, These shows introduced our students as well as staff members to the world of Astronomy. Their interactive shows not only brought out the inquisitiveness of the students but also opened a wide horizon of future prospects.
Mrs. C Khanna
The Program viewed was informative and an exciting experience for the students. They learnt to differentiate between stars / Planets / recognize prominent constellations and cleared a lot of mis-conceptions.
On Behalf of the Management, Staff and Students of our school, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you and your team for providing us with the thrilling experience of a visit to the Planetarium. We have all thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot as well. I wish to express our deep appreciation for Mr. Siddharth Trivedi and his team for the clear and detailed explanation that they gave. It has been an experience that I am sure none of us will easily forget.
Mrs. Rajeswary Samabathrajan
The Planetarium was quite exciting and informative for the students as well as our staff. It seemed to have brought the Universe closer to Earth. All enjoyed the presentation, as it was very educative and interesting. We would like to thank you and your team for presenting such a valuable show.
The Planetarium was very interesting. We came to know about the wonders of the Universe in it. There was a seasoned astronomer who explained us the various interesting things about the universe. He told us about the 88 constellations, and that a constellation is actually a division of the skies. We were shown all the famous constellations. We saw how our Sun looks like in front of other large sized stars. How Jupiter's gravity prevents large asteroids from hitting Earth. It was a great experience to view Earth as a minute part of the Milky Way Galaxy & space which is endless and Mysterious.
Students of Doon Blossoms School
We thank you and your team for bringing the portable Planetarium Dome for our school. I have received very good feedback from my children and the staff members about the Planetarium shows. The virtual three dimensional cosmic environment created inside the dome helped the students to update and enhance their understanding of the Universe. We would also like to thank the Planetarium Educator for the ease and clarity with which he explained the Astronomical concepts. We feel that the concept of portable planetarium will go a long way in helping integrating learning with fun and experience.
Mrs. N Sehgal
The Planetarium Shows conducted in our school was attended by a large number of students off all age group and Staff.
It was found to be an enjoyable experience as wee as being highly informative. Such was the success of this Program that we would be in touch with you to incorporate more shows.
I would like to thank you for leading a presentation on study of stars with my staff and students. Your team did an excellent job of getting their attention, providing them with useful information and helping them to understand the study of stars.
I sincerely appreciate the time you spent updating our knowledge, the presentation was very helpful and gave us a new perspective about the universe to not only the students but also the staff. Again, thank you so much for you time. I greatly appreciate the assistance you have provided us.
Ms. S James
It was an enriching experience for me as I entered the balloon shaped tent. I learnt so much about the stars and how constellations are formed.
After watching the planetarium show, I realized how important our planet is in this universe which is the only place with life. It is important to keep our planet clean. We should not waste electricity and energy, We should not cut trees and reduce oxygen.
The thing that all of us enjoyed in the planetarium show was all the new information we received about the stars like Spica, The great Bear constellation and many others. It was really fascinating to know about the future of our planet and it taught us how to keep our environment clean. It was good and interesting. Please come again soon.
The planetarium show was something new at school. It was very fascinating. We learnt about different constellations and galaxies. I learnt if I don�t look after the environment, it may affect the next century. I also learnt that light travels faster than I could think of.
It was a remarkable experience and an eye opener to what is happening in the Universe. It gave us a better idea about the Solar system and our home galaxy The Milky Way and helped us appreciate it better. It made us aware of the alarming future which could be destroyed and helped us to know how to protect it.
The show was an educational experience. I became aware of the various constellations. It opened my mind to the various concepts specially how much time light takes from various stars to reach Earth.