The Bamboo Tree Planetarium
The Nairobi Planetarium is Kenya’s first permanent planetarium and is located on Riverside Drive Nairobi, Kenya. It is a 10-meter bamboo dome with an immersive fisheye dome projector. It was built by the founders of the Travelling Telescope Chu, Susan and their staff, a group of astronomy graduates. The bamboo used in construction was harvested and treated locally. The planetarium has a bamboo geodesic dome frame, a water-proof cover with open windows, uses blackout curtains, and has a hemispherical projection screen. The materials used to make the planetarium are environmentally sustainable. It took many months of researching, planning, and calculating when designing the planetarium. Construction started in 2019, and in 2020 it had to be restructured due to the pandemic and was officially launched in 2021. The planetarium shows include engaging interactive live presentations and award-winning planetarium films. In addition to the Nairobi Planetarium, the Travelling Telescope has an inflatable mobile planetarium which they use to engage school children throughout Kenya in astronomy. Following covid protocols, the Traveling Telescope has been able to continue using the planetarium.