'The place where I was born influenced my life to a great extent - I was born in the Northern Cape, in a small town called Upington, where the summers would be so hot you couldn't sleep indoors; we would carry our beds outside and sleep there. That is where my love of stars started, and it kept on influencing the rest of my life - it is as if I was born to do this. I'm at my happiest when I am here and telling people what they can see up there in the night sky. When I've been away from the planetarium and I come back to it again and activate the system and see what is up there, it is like coming home. It really touches me - I remember showing children for the first time with the new system flying away from Earth, and seeing planet Earth projected on the dome, even though I knew it was just a projection - to me it was such an emotional moment, to see our planet so fragile, so beautiful, so blue, projected on the dome. I could share that moment with the children as it felt like they were with me from the responses I got. You can do so much more with the new system than the old one, although I'm still sometimes very nostalgic about the old system, how it was really a hands-on system, now you are just sitting behind the computer and pressing the buttons, but it can show you show much more and can put you right there. You feel less contained with this system, here I can fly you thought the solar system, through the galaxy, out of our galaxy and the gasps I get from people when they see our galaxy from the outside is just absolutely amazing. This is as close to real as we can take you, without putting you into space, which is of course not possible at the moment!'
Elsabé Uys, Planetarium Presenter, Iziko Planetarium, Cape TownRead More