57. M.P Birla Planetarium, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, West Bengal - India @ Humayunn Peerzaada
The M.P Birla Planetarium in Kolkata is a single-storeyed circular structure designed in the typical Indian style, whose architecture is loosely styled on the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi.
Situated at Chowringhee Road adjacent to the Victoria Memorial, St Paul's Cathedral, and the maidan in south Kolkata, it is the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world.
There are two other Birla Planetariums in India: B.M. Birla Planetarium in Chennai and the Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad. Popularly known as taramandal, the planetarium was inaugurated in 1963 by the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. It has an electronics laboratory for design and fabrication of science equipment. It has an astronomy gallery that maintains a huge collection of fine paintings and celestial models of renowned astronomers.
The Planetarium also has an astronomical observatory equipped with a Celestron C-14 Telescope with accessories such as ST6 CCD camera and solar filter. It offers to the public and students more than 100 astronomical projects dealing with various facts of astronomy, astro-physics, Space Science as well as myths concerning stars and planets. It has a capacity of 500.
Daily programs are conducted in English, Bengali and Hindi from 12:00 to 19:00 hrs. Programs are occasionally conducted in Oriya, Tamil and Gujarati, as well. Extra shows are arranged on holidays.
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Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.
Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?
China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.
Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.
Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.
I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.
The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.
China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.
Text by Steve Smith.