Zeiss projector

Last updated

The Mark I projector installed in the Deutsches Museum in 1923 was the world's first planetarium projector. ZeissMark1.jpg
The Mark I projector installed in the Deutsches Museum in 1923 was the world's first planetarium projector.
The Mark III modified projector installed in the Planetario Humboldt 1950 in Caracas - Venezuela.It is the oldest in Latin America. Proyector Planetario Humboldt, Caracas, Venezuela (144898406).jpg
The Mark III modified projector installed in the Planetario Humboldt 1950 in Caracas - Venezuela.It is the oldest in Latin America.
Marks II through VI utilized two small spheres of lenses separated along a central axis. ZeissPlanetariumProjector MontrealPlanetarium.jpg
Marks II through VI utilized two small spheres of lenses separated along a central axis.
Beginning with Mark VII, Zeiss projectors adopted a new, egg-shaped design. Universarium in Planetarium Hamburg.jpg
Beginning with Mark VII, Zeiss projectors adopted a new, egg-shaped design.
The Mark IX Universarium is currently the most advanced model. This example was installed in 2006 at The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Zeiss mkIX Universarium.jpg
The Mark IX Universarium is currently the most advanced model. This example was installed in 2006 at The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
Closeup of a lens bearing sphere of the Zeiss Mark IV planetarium projector on display at the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, India. Zeiss Mark IV Sphere.jpg
Closeup of a lens bearing sphere of the Zeiss Mark IV planetarium projector on display at the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, India.

A Zeiss projector is one of a line of planetarium projectors manufactured by the Carl Zeiss Company.


The first modern planetarium projectors were designed and built in 1924 by the Zeiss Works of Jena, Germany in 1924. [1] Zeiss projectors are designed to sit in the middle of a dark, dome-covered room and project an accurate image of the stars and other astronomical objects on the dome. They are generally large, complicated, and imposing machines.

The first Zeiss Mark I projector (the first planetarium projector in the world) was installed in the Deutsches Museum in Munich in August, 1923. [2] It possessed a distinctive appearance, with a single sphere of projection lenses supported above a large, angled "planet cage". Marks II through VI were similar in appearance, using two spheres of star projectors separated along a central axis that contained projectors for the planets. Beginning with Mark VII, the central axis was eliminated and the two spheres were merged into a single, egg-shaped projection unit.

History of development and production

The Mark I was created in 1923–1924 and was the world's first modern planetarium projector. [2] The Mark II was developed during the 1930s by Carl Zeiss AG in Jena. Following WWII division of Germany and the founding of Carl Zeiss (West Germany) in Oberkochen (while the original Jena plant was located in East Germany), each factory developed its own line of projectors. [3]

Marks III – VI were developed in Oberkochen (West Germany) from 1957 to 1989. Meanwhile, the East German facility in Jena developed the ZKP projector line. [3] The Mark VII was developed in 1993 and was the first joint project of the two Zeiss factories following German reunification. [3]

As of 2011, Zeiss currently manufactures three main models of planetarium projectors. The flagship Universarium models continue the "Mark" model designation and use a single "starball" design, where the fixed stars are projected from a single egg-shaped projector, and moving objects such as planets have their own independent projectors or are projected using a full-dome digital projection system. The Starmaster line of projectors are designed for smaller domes than the Universarium, but also use the single starball design. The Skymaster ZKP projectors are designed for the smallest domes and use a "dumbbell" design similar to the Mark II-VI projectors, where two smaller starballs for the northern and southern hemispheres are connected by a truss containing projectors for planets and other moving objects. [4]

Between 1923 and 2011, Zeiss manufactured a total of 631 projectors. [5] Therefore, the following table is highly incomplete.

PlanetariumZeiss Projector ModelAcquisition DateEnd DateRemarks
Sijthoff planetarium  [ nl ], The Hague, NetherlandsMark I19341976Destroyed by fire, although the projector has been restored. [6]
Silesian Planetarium, Chorzów, PolandMark II19552018 Silesian Planetarium, the oldest Mark II still in use worldwide, the oldest and biggest planetarium in Poland.

Retired in July 2018, will be reopened after upgrade in mid 2020.

Tycho Brahe Planetarium, Copenhagen, DenmarkStarmaster19892012The only experienced operator in Denmark retired in 2012. Jesper H.
Adler Planetarium, Chicago, Illinois, USAMark II/III19301969Projector was converted from Mark II to Mark III from 1959 to 1961 [7] [8] [9]
Mark VI19692011Replaced with "Digital Starball" system from Global Immersion Ltd.
Planetario Luis Enrique Erro, Mexico City, MexicoMark IV19642006It was the first planetarium in Mexico opened to general public and it is also one of the oldest in Latin America. [10]
Planetario Simon Bolivar, Maracaibo, VenezuelaStarmaster1968PresentIt was the second planetarium in Venezuela.
Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USAMark II19391994Now on exhibit (but not in operation) at the Carnegie Science Center.
Bangkok Planetarium, Bangkok, ThailandMark IV19642016Replaced by an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 5. The projector is still inside the planetarium but not in operation. [11]
Denki kagakukan  [ ja ], Osaka, JapanMark II (No.23)19371989First Planetarium in Japan
Preserved at Osaka Science Museum.
Tonichi Tenmonkan  [ ja ], Tokyo, JapanMark II (No.26)193825 May 1945Destroyed by Bombing of Tokyo
Gotoh Planetarium  [ ja ], Tokyo, JapanMark IV(No.1)19572001
Akashi Municipal Planetarium  [ ja ], Akashi, JapanUniversal(UPP)23/31960PresentThe oldest projector which is operating in Japan.
Nagoya City Science Museum, Nagoya, JapanMark IV19622010Closed for renovation in August 2010
Mark IX2011PresentRe-opened in March 2011 [12] [13]
Fernbank Planetarium, Atlanta, Georgia, USAMark V1967/8?Present [14]
Hamburg Planetarium, Hamburg, GermanyMark II19251957Projector was acquired by the City of Hamburg in 1925, the planetarium was opened to the public in 1930.
Mark IV19571983
Mark VI19832003
Mark IX2006Present
Hayden Planetarium, New York, New York, USAMark II19351960 [15]
Mark IV19601973
Mark VI19731997
Mark IX1999Present
Humboldt Planetarium  [ es ], Caracas, VenezuelaMark III (modified)1950PresentThis planetarium is the oldest in Latin America. [16] [17]
Johannesburg Planetarium, Johannesburg, South AfricaMark III (upgraded from Mark II)1960PresentAcquired from the city of Hamburg and upgraded to Mark III prior to installation. [18]
Manitoba Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaMark Vs1967Present [19]
Galileo Galilei planetarium, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaMark V19672011Replaced by MEGASTAR II A [20]
Morehead Planetarium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USAMark II19491969 [21]
Mark VI19696 May 2011
James S. McDonnell Planetarium, St. Louis, Missouri, USAMark IX2001Presentreplaced an Evans & Sutherland Digistar [22]
Samuel Oschin Planetarium, Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles, California, USAMark IV19642006
Mark IX2006Present
Strasenburgh Planetarium, Rochester, New York, USAMark VI1968PresentOriginally cost $240,234 – in 1968 dollars. [23]
Planetario de Bogotá, Bogotá, Bogotá, ColombiaMark VI1969Present [24]
Fiske Planetarium, Boulder, Colorado, USAMark VI19752012Replaced by an Ohira Tech MEGASTAR. [25]
Planetario Universidad de Santiago  [ es ], Santiago, ChileMark VI1972Present [26] [27]
Calouste Gulbenkian Planetarium  [ pt ], Lisbon, PortugalUPP 23/419652004 [28]
Mark IX2005Present
Delafield Planetarium, Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Georgia, USASkymaster ZKP-32000Present [29]
Charles Hayden Planetarium, Boston Museum of Science, Boston, MA, USAMark VI19702010 [30]
Starmaster2011Present [31]
Nehru Planetarium, Mumbai, IndiaMark IV19772003Replaced by an Evans & Sutherland Digistar 3 [32]
Planetario Ulrico Hoepli, Milan, ItalyMark IV1968Present [33]
Planetario Ciudad de Rosario, Rosario, Santa Fe, ArgentinaMark IV1962PresentProjector was acquired by the City of Rosario in 1962, the planetarium was opened to the public in 1984 [34]
Planetarium (Belgium), Brussels, BELGIUMMark II19351966Planetarium was closed between 1939 and 1954. Closed again in 1966. Building and projector were destroyed in 1969. A new building with a new projector was built in 1976. [35] [36] [37] [38]
UPP 23/51976present
Moscow Planetarium, Moscow, RussiaMark II19291976Details preserved at Moscow Planetarium
Mark VI19771994Preserved at Moscow Planetarium
Planetarium ceased work in 1994
Mark IX2010PresentProjector was acquired in 2010, the planetarium was renovated and opened to the public in 2011
London Planetarium, Baker Street, London, UKMark IV19581995Now in Science Museum collection. [39] [40]
Chabot Space and Science Center, Oakland, California, USAMark VIII1999PresentAs of 2016, the Mark VIII projector unit was successfully repaired, after several years being dysfunctional.
Cozmix, Bruges, BelgiumZKP 3b2002Present [41]
Espaço do Conhecimento do UFMG, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, BrazilZKP 42010Present [42]
Montreal Planetarium, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaMark V19662011Now at exhibit at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium [43]
Sri Lanka Planetarium, Colombo, Sri Lanka Mark IV1965PresentThis was a gift from east Germany
Planetário Professor Francisco José Gomes Ribeiro (Colégio Estadual do Paraná), Curitiba, Paraná, BrazilZKP 11978Present
Planetário da Fundação Espaço Cultural, João Pessoa, Paraíba, BrazilSpacemaster1982Present [44]
Sternwarte Planetarium SIRIUS, Schwanden near Sigriswil, Switzerland ZKP 220002014
ZKP 42014Present

See also

Related Research Articles

Planetarium Theatre that presents educational and entertaining shows about astronomy

A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation.

Adler Planetarium United States historic place

The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. It is located on the northeast tip of Northerly Island at the shore of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Illinois. The Adler was the first planetarium in the United States and is part of Chicago's Museum Campus, which includes the John G. Shedd Aquarium and The Field Museum. The Adler's mission is to inspire exploration and understanding of the universe.

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is one of the oldest and largest planetariums in the United States having welcomed more than 7 million visitors by its 60th anniversary in 2009. As a unit of the university, Morehead receives about one-third of its funding through state sources, one-third through ticket and gift sales, and one-third through gifts and grants.

Optical Museum Jena

The Deutsches Optisches Museum Jena is a science and technology museum displaying optical instruments from eight centuries. It gives a technical and cultural-historical survey of the development of optical instruments. The development of the city Jena to the centre of the optical industries since the mid-19th-century is integrated in the exhibition, connected with the lifeworks of Ernst Abbe, Carl Zeiss and Otto Schott.

McLaughlin Planetarium Planetarium museum in Ontario, Canada.

The McLaughlin Planetarium is a former working planetarium whose building occupies a space immediately to the south of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, at 100 Queen's Park. Founded by a grant from philanthropist Colonel R. Samuel McLaughlin, the facility was opened to the public on October 26, 1968. It had, for its time, a state-of-the-art electro-mechanical Zeiss planetarium projector that was used to project regular themed shows about the stars, planets, and cosmology for visitors. By the 1980s the planetarium's sound-system and domed ceiling were used to display dazzling music-themed laser-light shows. The lower levels of the planetarium contained a gallery called the "Astrocentre" that featured space-related exhibits, related artifacts on the history of astronomy and was also home of the world's first commercial Stellarium

Planetarium projector

A planetarium projector, also known as a star projector, is a device used to project images of celestial objects onto the dome in a planetarium.

Walther Bauersfeld

Walther Bauersfeld was a German engineer.

Strasenburgh Planetarium

The Strasenburgh Planetarium is a public planetarium located at 663 East Avenue in the city of Rochester, New York. It is named after its benefactors, Edwin and Clara Strasenburgh. It is a department of the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The Planetarium was dedicated on September 14, 1968. The 65-foot-diameter Star Theater originally seated 240 people. The original seats were replaced in 1985; as currently configured, the theater seats 225. The Star Theater houses the first Zeiss Mark VI planetarium projector; it is still in daily operation. The planetarium received world-wide attention by being the first to be computer automated. It was known for both its technical and programming innovations.

Bryan-Gooding Planetarium in the Alexander Brest Science Theatre is a planetarium in the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville, Florida, U.S. It was built in 1988 and featured a 60-foot-diameter (18 m) dome-shaped projection screen, JBL stereo sound system, and a Zeiss Jena Optical mechanical planetarium star projector. The facility has seating for 200, and approximately 60,000 people see a planetarium show each year.

Planetarium (Belgium) Planetarium in Brussels

The Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium is a Belgian planetarium and part of the institutions of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office.

Seiler Instrument & Mfg. Co. is a full service contract manufacturer specializing in optical fire control equipment as well as a major distributor of surveying software and instruments, microscopes, and Zeiss planetariums. There are several main divisions within the company which include Manufacturing, Geospatial-Survey, Medical, Seiler Design Solutions, LLC., and Planetarium. The company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Geospatial-Survey sales offices located in Kansas City, Illinois, Nebraska, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Birla Planetarium, Kolkata Planetarium museum in Kolkata, India

The Birla Planetarium in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, is a single-storeyed circular structure designed in the typical Indian style, whose architecture is loosely styled on the Buddhist Stupa at Sanchi. Situated at Chowringhee Road adjacent to the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul's Cathedral and the Maidan in Central Kolkata, it is the largest planetarium in Asia and the second largest planetarium in the world. There are two other Birla Planetariums in India: B.M. Birla Planetarium in Chennai and the Birla Planetarium in Hyderabad.

Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science Building

The Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science Building, also known as the "People's Observatory", is located at 10 Children's Way in the Allegheny Center neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Zeiss Major Planetarium

The Zeiss Major Planetarium is a planetarium in Berlin and one of the largest modern stellar theatres in Europe. It was opened in 1987 on the borders of the Ernst-Thälmann-Park housing estates in the Prenzlauer Berg locality of Berlin.

The Science Factory Science museum in Rogaland, Norway

Science Factory is a museum and science center located at Sandnes, in Rogaland, Norway.

Jakarta Planetarium and Observatory

Jakarta Planetarium and Observatory is a public planetarium and an observatory, part of the Taman Ismail Marzuki art and science complex in Jakarta, Indonesia. The planetarium is the oldest of the three planetaria in Indonesia. The second planetarium is located in Surabaya, East Java. The third planetarium is located in Kutai, East Kalimantan.

Professor Aristóteles Orsini Planetarium Planetarium in Brazil

The Professor Aristóteles Orsini Planetarium, also known as the Ibirapuera Planetarium, is a planetarium in Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo. It opened in January 1957, and was the first planetarium in Brazil and Latin America. It is one of three planetaria in São Paulo, with the others being Carmo Planetarium and the Johannes Kepler Planetarium at Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento.

Carmo Planetarium Planetarium in Brazil

Carmo Planetarium is a planetarium in Parque do Carmo, eastern São Paulo, Brazil. It is part of the Open University of the Environment and Culture of Peace (UMAPAZ), and opened on 30 November 2005. It is one of three planetaria in São Paulo, the others being Professor Aristóteles Orsini Planetarium and the Johannes Kepler Planetarium at Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento.

Sabina Escola Parque do Conhecimento Science museum

The Sabina School Park of Knowledge is a science museum in Santo André, São Paulo, Brazil. Other planetaria in Greater São Paulo include Professor Aristóteles Orsini Planetarium and Carmo Planetarium.


  1. Christopher Dewdney. Acquainted with the Night: Excursions Through the World After Dark . Bloomsbury Publishing USA; 2005 [cited 14 October 2011]. ISBN   978-1-58234-599-4. p. 278–279.
  2. 1 2 Mark R. Chartrand. "A Fifty Year Anniversary of a Two Thousand Year Dream – The History of the Planetarium" . Retrieved 5 September 2012.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. 1 2 3 Carl Zeiss AG. "Planetarium projector models since 1942". Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. "Carl Zeiss STARMASTER Models ZMP and ZMP-TD – Product Specifications". meditec.zeiss.com. 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  5. Prager, Lutz (8 February 2011). "In Jena Optik-Kolloquium zu Planetariumsbau". Ostthüringer Zeitung. Gera . Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  6. Kok, Albert (1 September 2018). "Verbrand planetarium krijgt tweede leven en komt terug naar Den Haag" [Burned planetarium gets second life and comes back to The Hague]. Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch).
  7. Ley, Willy (February 1965). "Forerunners of the Planetarium". For Your Information. Galaxy Science Fiction. pp. 87–98.
  8. Glenn A. Walsh. "The Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum" . Retrieved 28 July 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  9. Steve Johnson (11 June 2011). "Countdown to 'wow'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
  10. Planetario Luis Enrique Erro (IPN). "Sitio oficial del Planetario Luis Enrique Erro del Instituo Politecnico Nacional". Instituto Politecnico Nacional.Cite journal requires |journal= (help). (in Spanish)
  11. Bangkok Planetarium. "ความเป็นมา (History)". Bangkok Planetarium official website. Bangkok Planetarium. Retrieved 30 November 2008.. (in Thai)
  12. "Nagoya City Science Museum | Planetarium | About the Planetarium| Planetarium Outline". Ncsm.city.nagoya.jp. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  13. "Nagoya Science Museum". Zeiss.de. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  14. Fernbank Science Center Planetarium. "Official website of the Fernbank Science Center" . Retrieved 16 July 2009.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. The New York Times (11 August 1999). "Updating City's Star System; Planetarium Introducing Mark IX for Outer Space" . Retrieved 7 October 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. Humboldt Planetarium. "El Planetario – Reseña Histórica" . Retrieved 4 January 2009.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. Planetario Humboldt at Spanish Wikipedia (in Spanish)
  18. Johannesburg Planetarium. "History of the Planetarium". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2012.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. The Manitoba Museum. "Planetarium General Information" . Retrieved 28 July 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. "Planetario de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires - Tecnología innovaciones y actualizaciones" (in Spanish). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  21. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Morehead History" . Retrieved 28 July 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  22. The St. Louis Science Center. "James S. McDonnell Planetarium" . Retrieved 1 August 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  23. Strasenburgh. "RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium – The Star Projector" . Retrieved 4 September 2008.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  24. "Planetario de Bogotá – Historia". planetariodebogota.gov.co (in Spanish). 2011. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  25. "A Brief History of Fiske Planetarium". University of Colorado at Boulder. Archived from the original on 3 June 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2010.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  26. USACH. "Infraestructura Planetario USACH" . Retrieved 4 October 2013.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  27. Carl Zeiss Planetarium Division. "Planetario Universidad de Santiago" (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 October 2013.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. "Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 July 2009.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  29. The Council of Independent Colleges. "Historic Campus Architecture Project: Bradley Observatory and Delafield Planetarium" . Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  30. Rainy Day Science : Museum Of Science Planetarium – 31 January 2011. Rainydaymagazine.com. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
  31. Museum of Science Hosts World Premiere of Original Astronomy Show Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun at Grand Reopening of Charles Hayden Planetarium. Museum of Science. 13 February 2011
  32. "Nehru Centre Mumbai". Nehru Centre . Archived from the original on 26 December 2012.
  33. "Planetario di Milano - Lo strumento planetario" (in Italian). Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  34. es:Complejo Astronómico Municipal
  35. "Association des planétariums de langue française" . Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  36. "Planetarium.be" . Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  37. "UPP 23/5 nl" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  38. "UPP 23/5 fr" (PDF). Retrieved 5 August 2015.
  39. "Planetarian Article".
  40. "Science Museum entry".
  41. "Planetarium website".Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  42. "Planetarium website".Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  43. "Montreal Planetarium Press kit" (PDF).Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  44. "FUNESC".Cite journal requires |journal= (help)