ZEISS celebrates “Centennial of the Planetarium” anniversary
Special exhibition at the Deutsches Museum opens today
To mark the anniversary of “Centennial of the Planetarium,” the Deutsches Museum in Munich is showcasing the fascinating history of planetariums in a special exhibition of the same name. The exhibition includes several historic projectors, including Model I, which ZEISS presented to the Deutsches Museum on October 21, 1923. This date is now considered the birth of the modern planetarium.
The special exhibition, which ZEISS supported technically and logistically, was officially opened yesterday evening by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl, General Director of the Deutsches Museum, Dr. Karl Lamprecht, CEO of the ZEISS Group, and a ceremonial lecture titled “For what is inside is outside” by Prof. Dr. Thomas W. Kraupe, former President of the International Planetarium Society following a meeting of the Board of Trustees. The exhibition runs between May 5, 2023 and January 28, 2024 and – besides the historic projectors – also features a mobile dome in which current planetarium shows can be viewed.
Idea of rotating star sphere
“In 1913, Oskar von Miller, founder of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, had the idea for an apparatus that would make the movements of the sun, moon and planets visible at the same time as those of the stars and asked ZEISS about manufacturing a ‘rotating star sphere’,” explains Dr. Christian Sicka, Curator of Astronomy at the Deutsches Museum in Munich.
“We know there was a meeting between representatives of the company and the Deutsches Museum in Jena on February 24, 1914. They discussed the complicated mechanics and Dr. Walther Bauersfeld of ZEISS came up with the idea of projecting the sun, moon and planets. His colleague Professor Rudolf Straubel remarked that the stars should then also be projected,” Sicka continues. “So the projection planetarium was a kind of spontaneous idea developed during a brainstorming session.”
After World War I interrupted this development, Bauersfeld presented a design for a planetarium based on optical-mechanical light projection in March 1919. He and his team then began work on fleshing out the details. “On October 21, 1923, the time had come, and the artificial sky was illuminated for the first time,” Sicka explains. Expectations were far exceeded at the time, he says, so that after completion the device was installed permanently in 1925 and opened to the public as the world’s first planetarium on May 7, 1925, with the inauguration of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. The first projector from ZEISS brought 4500 stars to shine in the dome. With it and its successors Model IV, Model 1015 and the ZEISS SKYMASTER ZKP 4, the planetarium in the Deutsches Museum has attracted more than 8.5 million visitors – most recently around 80,000 per year. At present, the planetarium at the Deutsches Museum is being renovated. The modernization of the building is scheduled to be completed in 2028, the 125th anniversary of the museum’s founding.
Journeys into space
Interested visitors to the special exhibition can see that star projectors have changed since 1923. “Today planetariums offer so much more than just a view of the stars,” says Dr. Karl Lamprecht, CEO of ZEISS. “They are places where, thanks in part to our innovative planetarium technology, space can be experienced. Children and adults can travel virtually through the entire universe. Planetariums thus broaden horizons and arouse enthusiasm for science and technology. In doing so, they combine science, art, culture and education in a unique way.”
The combination of classic optical-mechanical star projector and digital video projectors is already standard in the most modern planetariums in the world. The ZEISS VELVET LED projector developed and manufactured by ZEISS is the only projector worldwide built for astronomical visualizations in planetariums and combines maximum sharpness, strong colors and the highest contrast in the world. The digital projector produces a completely black image background so that no gray background light illuminates the night sky.
Today there are around 3000 planetarium installations in almost every country in the world, 700 of which have been equipped with ZEISS technology. The name ZEISS and planetariums are closely linked. Today, as modern high-tech domes, star theaters offer fascinating fulldome shows and are still a crowd puller after 100 years. It is estimated that more than one billion people have visited a planetarium – another reason why the anniversary is something very special for the company.
In addition to the special exhibition, ZEISS is also involved in organizing the opening event, with a ZEISS Colloquium in November 2023. You can find all ZEISS activities for the anniversary at www.zeiss.com/planetariums100.
Anniversary with many activities
The International Planetarium Society (IPS) and the Society of German-speaking Planetariums e. V. (GDP), with the support of the Carl Zeiss Foundation, will celebrate the anniversary together with planetariums around the world between October 21, 2023 and May 7, 2025. Numerous events and activities, such as two new planetarium shows and a book project, are planned for the two anniversary years. The official opening ceremony will take place on October 21, 2023, at the Deutsches Museum in Munich and the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena. The patron for the anniversary is German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. You can find more information on the anniversary on the official anniversary website https://planetarium100.org.
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 8.8 billion euros in its four segments Semiconductor Manufacturing Technology, Industrial Quality & Research, Medical Technology and Consumer Markets (status: 30 September 2022).
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. ZEISS invests 13 percent of its revenue in research and development – this high level of expenditure has a long tradition at ZEISS and is also an investment in the future.
With over 38,000 employees, ZEISS is active globally in almost 50 countries with around 30 production sites, 60 sales and service companies and 27 research and development facilities (status: 30 September 2022). 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.
Further information at www.zeiss.com
Opening of special exhibition "100 years ZEISS planetariums"
The special exhibition was ceremoniously opened on May 4, 2023, by Dr. Christian Sicka, Curator of Astronomy at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Martin Kraus, Head of ZEISS Planetariums, the General Director of the Deutsches Museum Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. He, The special exhibition was ceremoniously opened on May 4, 2023, by Dr. Christian Sicka, Curator of Astronomy at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Martin Kraus, Head of ZEISS Planetariums, the General Director of the Deutsches Museum Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. Heckl, and Dr. Karl Lamprecht, CEO of the ZEISS Group (from left).Pages: 1File size: 4 MB