The planetarium in Wolfsburg has been showing its audience the stars using a STARMASTER projector from ZEISS since 1996. With 25 years of uninterrupted operation, the projector is far from being old news. Nevertheless, it had earned itself a little refresh. During the pandemic-related shutdown in April, service technicians from ZEISS moved in and dove into the guts of the projector. They have now left it with an extensive upgrade. This will ensure that the stars shine even more brilliantly and will not fade in the 15-m dome for years to come. New LED light sources have replaced the previous metal vapor lamps. This not only saves on energy costs, but also means that costs for new lamps, lamp replacement and storage are a thing of the past.
Reliability is an important issue for planetariums because they do not want cancel shows. To ensure that the 25-year-old technology is reliable for years to come, some mechanical and electronic components needed to make way for modern solutions. This upgrade also applied to the control computer which had to make way for modern hardware and software.
The Wolfsburg Planetarium is very pleased with the upgrade. While the artificial starry sky was always impressive, it is now even brighter and more evenly illuminated. The sun and moon are "da bomb" and we think that's an accurate description.
As soon as the planetarium can open its doors again, visitors can expect an unforgettably beautiful starry sky. A starry sky that arouses curiosity about the secrets of space and our cosmic home.