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The world's largest astronomy museum opened in Shanghai on July 18, 2021. Located in the Lingang district of Shanghai, the Shanghai Astronomy Museum was built over a period of five years.
The museum was designed by New York-based firm Ennead and will act as a branch of the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.
Spread over an area of 420,000 square feet, the museum includes exhibitions, a planetarium, an observatory, and a 78-foot-tall solar telescope.
It has a curvilinear shape to reflect the geometry of the cosmos. The structure has three overlapping arcs with no straight lines or right angles.
The design doesn't have any straight walls as it is influenced by the three-body problem, i.e., the calculation of three celestial entities like planets, moons, or stars. This cosmic riddle translates into three arcing shapes of an oculus, sphere, and inverted dome.
As guests enter the museum, the oculus opens up above the museum's main entrance. The oculus works like a tiny timepiece to produce a circle of sunlight that travels across the floor.
The guests are then taken to the sphere housing the planetarium that projects from the building's roof like a moonrise. Then comes an inverted glass dome that allows the guests to see the open night sky.
All of the three structures serve as an astrological instrument to convey a higher purpose to visitors looking for a spiritual connection in the stars.