Press Release

Bochum Planetarium Receives New ZEISS Technology

ZEISS VELVET dome projection system up and running

15 October 2020

Jena, Germany | 15 October 2020 | ZEISS Planetariums

The ZEISS planetarium in Bochum has been equipped with new technology: its 11 ZEISS VELVET LED projectors will offer higher resolution and exceptional color brilliance thanks to LED light sources. These third-generation projectors have replaced the ten-year-old first-generation ZEISS VELVET projectors. So what's special about the ZEISS projectors? They offer the world's best contrast – and continue ensuring that astronomical simulations produce very realistic results in combination with the existing ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM Model IX star projector. Increased brightness will cause the number of pixels on the dome to double. The tried-and-true synchronization of the opto-mechanical night sky and its digital projections will remain a particular feature of the shows at the Bochum planetarium. High-performance lenses from ZEISS and enhanced video processing will deliver razor-sharp images. Visitors to the planetarium will thus enjoy a more pleasant experience. Virtual worlds and a realistic impression will seamlessly intertwine.

Bochum Planetarium receives new ZEISS technology

Spectacular shows to impress visitors

Bochum planetarium director Prof. Dr. Susanne Hüttemeister said: "We couldn't wait to see the new projectors' 'first light' – and we were totally wowed. Even our regular shows now boast greater detail, the likes of which our dome had never seen. And we now look forward to impressing our audiences with the new projection system." The Bochum planetarium hosts exciting presentation topics and a wide variety of events, and has seen new record visitor numbers year upon year. "The link between digital high-contrast and opto-mechanical star projections will continue to turn a visit to the Bochum planetarium into a veritable experience in the future, one that will stay in people's minds," says Martin Kraus, Head of ZEISS Planetariums. According to Kraus, this development is linked to the aim of meeting audience expectations in terms of modern presentation formats and being able to integrate innovative applications into the program structure. This is one of the key reasons for the city of Bochum to modernize its planetarium. "The VELVET LED projectors are a special ZEISS development, which matches planetariums' particular needs. The planetarium in Bochum is setting high standards for both itself and the technology," says Kraus. "We are delighted that we have been able to gain our longstanding customers' trust for our solutions." The new projectors with LED light sources are a key way of reducing service costs. Purchasing and regularly replacing lightbulbs is now a thing of the past.

Innovative computer application

The ZEISS UNIVIEW™ Open Dome marks the first time the company is delivering an innovative and easy-to-use system that enables high-resolution projection of almost any computer application on the dome. The graphical representation of these applications will be transmitted from the source computer to the dome in real time and without any losses. The innovative new technology means that content will be projected onto the dome in high visual quality. Until recently this was either not possible or necessitated a great deal of effort, and was limited in its quality output. This technology from ZEISS will allow the planetarium to run a wider range of programs and react quickly and flexibly to new research findings. The cultural events will also benefit from these more diverse opportunities and offer audiences new experiences.

The new technology was installed during August and September. A second phase will now see the conversion of the dome theater, which will include new seating so that all visitors can enjoy better viewing conditions. Work is scheduled to be completed by mid-December.

Press contact Beatrice Weinberger

ZEISS Planetariums


ZEISS is an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. In the previous fiscal year, the ZEISS Group generated annual revenue totaling more than 6.4 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2019).

For its customers, ZEISS develops, produces and distributes highly innovative solutions for industrial metrology and quality assurance, microscopy solutions for the life sciences and materials research, and medical technology solutions for diagnostics and treatment in ophthalmology and microsurgery. The name ZEISS is also synonymous with the world's leading lithography optics, which are used by the chip industry to manufacture semiconductor components. There is global demand for trendsetting ZEISS brand products such as eyeglass lenses, camera lenses and binoculars.

With a portfolio aligned with future growth areas like digitalization, healthcare and Smart Production and a strong brand, ZEISS is shaping the future of technology and constantly advancing the world of optics and related fields with its solutions. The company's significant, sustainable investments in research and development lay the foundation for the success and continued expansion of ZEISS' technology and market leadership.

With over 31,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 60 sales and service companies, 30 production sites and 25 development sites. Founded in 1846 in Jena, the company is headquartered in Oberkochen, Germany. The Carl Zeiss Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Germany committed to the promotion of science, is the sole owner of the holding company, Carl Zeiss AG.

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