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Simon Meyer, directeur du planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin
Le Planétarium de Vaulx-en-Velin. (©Ville de Vaulx-en-Velin)
Le dôme du planétarium (© Sébastien Fallaix)
Visuel de l'exposition permanente, qui ouvrira début 2014. (©Ville de Vaulx-en-Velin)
© Claire Morel
© Claire Morel
© Claire Morel

The Vaulx-en-Velin Planetarium: Astronomy 2.0

Simon Meyer: Planetarium manager

Reopened in October, in addition to the projections on the dome the 2013 version of the planetarium proposes exhibitions, workshops, conferences and more generally a completely different view of astronomy.

Could you tell us a little about the planetarium's new facilities? 

After our big makeover the planetarium now covers 4000 m2, of which 2000 m2 are new, with different areas adapted to all of the activities we intend to develop here. At the end of 2013, we are launching the workshops, a temporary exhibition and conferences, before opening the permanent exhibition in early 2014 followed by the 2000 m2 of gardens in 2015. We have also redesigned our tools and activities we propose in order to encourage dialogue and to take interactivity to a whole new level. 

What sort of new activities are you proposing?

We have introduced a very innovative new feature about meteorites. In addition to the workshop, the educational part and the crash tests, we offer the public a chance to take part in a genuine long-term training programme to make a real, tangible contribution to scientific research on meteorites through their observations.

The temporary exhibition this winter is also very original because we have chosen to approach astronomy from an artistic viewpoint. With the “X, Y, Z, T” exhibition , Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardaine will be using a quite astonishing interactive system to change the way we look at space.

What are the highlights of the permanent exhibition?

For this 900 m2 exhibition tracing the history of the universe, we have done a great deal of work on the staging, set to capture the attention of the whole audience. In particular we have developed two very innovative features.

Just like in the filmMinority Report, the Exploratorium enables visitors to control an image remotely, using hand movements. Visitors can also travel through a 6 m wide and 2 m high Milky Way.

The astroport offers an individual trip through the solar system at the controls of a spaceship, in total immersion thanks to a 180° panoramic view.

Which vision of astronomy would you like to share with the public?

More than a simple conception of astronomy we would like to share a scientific vision of the world. Science enables us to maintain a rational view of society and to avoid becoming withdrawn. We should remember that borders are not etched on our continent. This is a fine, humanistic message. What motivates me the most is to be able to show that, thanks to astronomy, we can move beyond borders.


His Lyonnais favourites

Where's the best place to enjoy an andouillette and a quenelle?
 At Café-Comptoir Abel in Ainay, the kings of the quenelle and the crayfish salad!

Where's the best place for a romantic stroll?
 The Montée du Gourguillon on Fourvière hill, stopping off for lunch at the Café du Soleil.

Where's the best place to meet "real" Lyonnais people?
 Place du Pont in Guillotière, that's the best place to meet the people of Lyon in all their wonderful diversity.

Where's the best place to party?
 At Le Kao, the Ninkasi at Gerland’s performance venue, which proposes an excellent programme of musical events.

Where's the best place to buy a souvenir of Lyon?
 At the Halles-Paul Bocuse, where you can bring back a suitcase full of quenelles, and chocolates and macaroons from Sève!

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Lyon City Card L'entrée au Planétarium est incluse dans la Lyon City Card