One of the great things about living in Brussels is that there are many things to do around here that you normally wouldn’t do. For this late afternoon and evening Expat Club has organised another lovely event. First, we watch an amazing movie about our universe in the half-domed Planetarium. Second, we will make a private visit to the MIRA, the space observatory in Grimbergen. We organised this event many times before and it’s always fun and a great learning experience, while being able to meet some new expat friends. Since we start in the late afternoon and end in the evening we arrange complimentary pizza and drinks for you!
Small expo Planetarium
Reserved entry “Violent Universe” movie
Informative and fun lecture by expert at MIRA Observatory
Guided tour through MIRA (observe experiments)
Stargazing through telescope (weather permitted)
Pizza, including vegetarian ones and drinks (no gluten free)
Since the MIRA is located outside of Brussels in the town of Grimbergen, those with a car are kindly requested (but not obliged) to give a ride to those people without a car from the Planetarium to the MIRA. There are regular bus services to/from Grimbergen as well, but our experience is that we will have more than enough spots to go to Grimbergen by car only. Thank you for your kind understanding.
We start our afternoon / evening event at the Planetarium Brussels at just 3 minutes walking from the Atomium | by ZombieLeChuck (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
This movie looks absolutely stunning if shown in HD on a full 360˚ domed screen above you. It provides an engaging introduction into the forces above us.
In the early evening we will go to Grimbergen at just a few km North of Brussels and visit the MIRA Observatory
Learn from an expert
There is so much to tell about the stars and everything in between that our host for the evening could talk for at least a week, especially because our group normally loves asking smart questions.
The Planetarium is well equipped to explain many different subjects. During the talk our lecturer will make use of a large interactive screen on which he will also show various video clips to make things visual.
The stronger our telescopes get, the more we will be able to see and understand about the world above us. This is the spectacular Lobster Nebula, which requires a very strong telescope to see.
Weather permitted we will have the chance to have a peek through one of the strong telescopes available at the MIRA. You may see several very distant objects that are invisible with the naked eye.
The Planetarium of Brussels is a magical place where we will discover the beauty of the starry sky. Beneath a semi-spherical dome, we embark on a journey where the canopy of heaven, panoramic landscapes and astronomical images blend together. It is one of Europe’s largest Planetariums with a completely redesigned projection hall and a state-of-the-art projection system made up of eight of the latest technology video-projectors providing coverage for the entire dome which is 23 metres in diameter, covering 840 m2.
Thanks to an astronomy database containing more than 100.000 stars, it’s possible to travel among the planets, to fly above Mars or even approach the rings of Saturn! And why would we stop there? Do you dare to go beyond the limits of the solar system, even the Milky Way! Would you be tempted to explore the extremities of the Universe?
After the planetarium visit we’ll be going to the MIRA, the public observatory in Grimbergen. The oldest public observatory in Belgium founded in 1967, provides Expat Club with the opportunity to privately visit the institution with one or two expert guides (depending on our group size). They will not only be able to tell us all we ever wanted to know about the sun, planets and stars, but also about space exploration in general and the latest research.
Depending on the weather we will spend more or less time on the rooftop of MIRA, where several telescopes are installed and our guide(s) will explain us more about what we see above our heads. Of course we will get the chance to look through the installations ourselves to gaze into space. What we will see depends primarily on the weather and the position of the moon and planets that evening.
The Planetarium is not far from the Atomium and can be easily reached by metro, tram and bus. However, to get from there to MIRA it takes about 45 minutes by bus and foot. We have plenty time in between to do so, but in case you do have a car available, it would be great if you could give a ride to one or more other participants. The distance is only about 6 kilometer, so just a 10-12 minutes drive, and it is kindly requested to those getting a ride to chip in a a few euros. We will coordinate rides after the movie. Thank you in advance for your kind help.
A visit to the MIRA only makes sense at night, at least if you want to have a chance to see the stars through a telescope. Therefore we planned our visit to the Planetarium in the late afternoon, so we have enough time to get to Grimbergen, have a drink in a local bar, and then start at the MIRA around 18h15. Surely by 19h30 you will be getting hungry, but since we are enjoying such a fascinating lecture, you also don’t want to walk out for dinner again. So why not have dinner on the spot? Expat Club will order several delicious super-large pizzas, so everyone can eat several slices of whatever you prefer: salami, prosciutto, special, Margherita, vegetarian etc. Of course we’ll also arrange some drinks for on the side. Note that we cannot arrange anything also or gluten-free. Our apologies for this in advance.