Hayden Planetarium Postcards (courtesy of Andy Porter)


Caption reads, "LUNAR LANDSCAPE. Mountains and craters on the moon cast long shadows across its surface. Sunlight reflects from planet Earth - nearly full - which dominates the sky, some 230,000 miles away. From the airless moon, the stars of the Scorpion to the left and ruddy Mars to the right stand out brightly."

Caption reads, "MOREHOUSE'S COMET. Discovered photographically by D.W. Morehouse in September, 1909, this comet was notable for outbursts of brightness and the unaccountable changes in its tail. Its orbit appears to be a parabola; if so, it will not return again."


Caption reads, "SATURN, on of our giant neighbor worlds (9 1/2 times the size of the earth in diameter), is unique because of its system of rings which consists of millions of tiny 'moonlets.' The noxious atmosphere surrounding this planet, composed mainly of hydrogen, ammonia and methane, would not permit the existence of the types of life with which we are familiar."



Caption reads, "THE PLANET JUPITER. From the surface of Io, its second satellite, Jupiter is seen 260,000 miles distant. Atmospherc bands and the great 'Red Spot' are clearly visible on the giant planet. The satellite Europa and the star Aldebaran are seen to the left."

Caption reads, "MARS, which at times is 35 million miles from the earth, has an extremely thin atmosphere. The planet's moisture is derived from the melting of its polar cap. Over half of Mars' surface is a rudy desert, the rest may be covered with primitive vegetation. Temperatures are extreme."

Caption reads, "THE VIKING ROCKET. This authentic 45 foot precision instrument is an actual rocket composed in part of sections recovered from the wreckage of Vikings built by the Martin Company of Baltimore and used by the Navy to probe the upper atmosphere. A rocket like this reached an altitude of 158 miles in May 1954."

Caption reads, "Only at times of TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN can the outer mantle of solar gases be seen by the naked eye. The flame-colored gaseous tongues of light, known as prominences, sometimes stream out more than 100,000 miles from the sun's disc. The luminous corona, which may be composed of highly ionized vapor, of iron, calcium, and nickel, surrounds the entire sphere and extends to a height of a million or more miles."


Caption reads, "THE AURORA BOREALIS (Northern Lights) one of nature' most dramatic displays, occurs when the rarified gases in the earth's upper atmosphere are bombarded into incandescence by charged particles from the sun. As the particles enter the earth's magnetic field near the magnetic poles, the auroral glows take on a variety of striking forms such as draperies, arcs and streamers. This painting is an example of the drapery or curtain-type aurora."

Caption reads, "The Solar System, surrounded by the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy, seen from one billion miles from the Sun." [Caption includes zipcode, making it post-1963]

Caption reads, "PROJECTION INSTRUMENT. This extraordinary machine, which reproduces the stars on the Planetarium dome just as they appear in the night sky, is the newest model of the Zeiss Optical Planetarium Projector. Through its intricate projection units and axial motions, it can recreate the heavens as they appear to the unaided eye from any part of the world at any point in time."

All of the postcards are extra large, measuring 6 by 9 inches.


Two buttons I bought at the Hayden Planetarium long before we reached the moon. The left button shows the Vanguard rocket. Captioned, "Photo by the Martin Company." The right button is captioned, "Actual photograph of the Moon taken by Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton Calif."