The Cosmic Dome, promoting the love of Astronomy in Lebanon

Abbas next to The Cosmic Dome
Abbas next to The Cosmic Dome on the stage of Babel Theatre in Hamra

“My name is Mohamad Abbas and I work on studying and mapping the formation history of the Galaxies.” These are the words of the man behind “The Cosmic Dome“, a company dedicated to organize “public outreach astronomy” programs.

An AUB graduate with a Bachelor in Physics, Abbas studied Astrophysics at the Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio, USA before obtaining his PhD in Astronomy from Heidelberg University, Germany – Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics. He has also taught more than 18 graduate and undergraduate university level courses for students from all over the globe.

But all those credentials wouldn’t have found their application in Lebanon were it not for local interest in Astronomy. In his words, “during the past years, I noticed people’s big interest in the night sky and in different astronomical phenomena in general. Once people know that Astronomy is my major, they start to ask me different and very interesting questions about the universe, big bang, stars, extrasolar planets, blackholes, auroras, and many other different topics. I felt like people are really interested in knowing what the universe they live in is made up from. I tried to answer all the questions I had answers of and this made me very excited! It was very exciting and overwhelming to see people’s reactions and enthusiasm about the universe! I organized star gazing events in Lebanon and it was always fully booked!”

The Cosmic Dome sitting on the stage of Babel Theatre in Hamra
The Cosmic Dome sitting on the stage of Babel Theatre in Hamra

And so The Cosmic Dome was born. “I took it further by moving back to Lebanon to start a new company that is dedicated to organize “public outreach astronomy” programs. I called it “the Cosmic Dome”. At the Cosmic Dome, we organize different activities for people of all ages and with different backgrounds. More specifically, we organize events such as:

  • Planetarium Shows: The Cosmic Dome is a mobile digital planetarium that uses the most advanced 360° 3D immersive projection systems. What makes our shows different is the new technology that we use. Unlike regular movie theaters, our shows are displayed all over the dome giving you a 360˚ view WITHOUT having to wear 3D glasses. It will make you virtually travel to the stars, planets, galaxies, and Black Holes. We take the Cosmic Dome to Schools, Universities, theaters, anywhere you want! – Star Gazing Events: We give people the opportunity to see the stars, planets, galaxies, and nebulas with their naked eyes using our telescopes!
  • Astronomy Presentations: We educate people about astronomy and tell them the most interesting and important facts about the universe. We also discuss the most recent astronomical discoveries and the upcoming astronomical events like Eclipses, meteor showers, solar winds, etc.
  • Astronomy Summer Camps: We will organize the first Astronomy Camp in Lebanon in the summer of 2015! The first summer camp will be for kids (age < 16 years old) and will last for 3 days / 2 nights. During the day, we will give lectures and homework for students. In the afternoons, we will give lessons for students inside the Planetarium and at night we will take them for stargazing. The accommodation, lectures, planetarium shows, food, and stargazing will be organized in and close the Hotel that we will choose.”
The First Astronomy Summer School brochure
The First Astronomy Summer School brochure

If you wish to stay up to date with The Cosmic Dome, you can follow them on Facebook.

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