The first artificial night sky appeared here for the first time in the summer of 1923. Heidelberg astronomer Max Wolf had suggested the planetarium to Oskar von Miller, the founder of the Deutsches Museum in Munich, 10 years earlier. He turned to Carl Zeiss Jena. Following an interruption caused by World War I and a number of design problems, Walther Bauersfeld, the Chief Engineer at Carl Zeiss, developed the Model I, which was tested in a specially built, 16-meter dome on the roof of the factory in Jena. Public presentations were available beginning in August 1924. The very first system was in service from 1925-1960 at the Deutsches Museum where it is now on display.
The brilliance of the night sky resulting from the use of optical-mechanical projects is unsurpassed. New digital solutions add extra content to the traditional projection methods: they enable unique effects such as the display of all-dome movies, the magnification of planets or the motion of celestial bodies as visible tracks. This allows the development of exciting shows. The latest ideas can be seen at the fourth FullDome Festival on May 4-8, at the Zeiss Planetarium in Jena. This year marks the first time that professional shows with impressive, full-length videos and animation sequences are permitted. They will be playing over the first three days of the event and were created in the USA, Australia, India and various European countries. The agenda is available at www.fulldome-festival.de.
As in the past, there will be movie shorts from students with innovative ideas. The highlight of the event will occur on the final day when the best works in the Student, Professional Clips and Shows categories will be honored. By the end of the event, it should be clear to everyone how far planetarium technology has evolved over the past 90 years.
May 5, 2010