In 1913 Oskar von Miller, founder of the German Museum in Munich, proposed a model to demonstrate the apparent motions of the sun, moon and planets simultaneously with the stars. World War I interrupted the development of such a planetarium. In March 1919, Walther Bauersfeld suggested a new approach featuring a projection apparatus. He began working out the design details and technical calculations. The long awaited moment arrived in August 1923 when the artificial sky lit up for the first time, far exceeding the wildest expectations of its designers. After finishing the design it was permanently installed at the Deutsches Museum in Munich as the Model I in 1925. The ongoing evolution of planetarium technology led to further models from I to IX, and small size models for teaching. But the innovations did not stop there. With the dawn of computers, Carl Zeiss equipped its planetariums with computer guidance systems, developed mid-sized planetariums and fibre optics for the most brilliant artificial night skies. The evolution of ZEISS planetariums, which are installed all over the world, led to the VELVET video projector featuring the highest contrast for perfect fulldome projection.
Oskar von Miller orders two sky models from Carl Zeiss for the Deutsches Museum in Munich: a Copernican planetarium and a sky model that shows the heavens as they are seen from the earth.
In early 1923, the 16 meter dome is completed on the roof of the Zeiss Works in Jena. where demonstrations are given. The dome design is based on the shell design invented and patented by Walther Bauersfeld, which is still used today.
Demonstration of the Model I projection planetarium to the supervisory board of the Deutsches Museum, Munich; public inauguration on May 7, 1925.
Opening of the first planetarium featuring a dumbbell projector (Model II) in Wuppertal, Germany.
Series production of the ZKP 1 small planetariums and the universal large planetariums in Jena.
Series production of the large planetariums (Model III, Model IV) in Oberkochen.
Large planetariums with automatic control systems
(Model VI A).
Delivery of the COSMORAMA large planetarium with computer guidance from Jena to Canada.
Opening of the Finnish Science Center in Vantaa, Finland, with the first Universarium, a planetarium projector with fiber projectors for tilted domes
Series production of the STARMASTER mid-sized planetarium featuring fiber optics.
The projection of absolute black – the special feature of the VELVET video projector for planetarium applications. All standard projectors project a gray background and therefore do not achieve the brilliance and contrast of the VELVET video projector.