Who doesn't love a good tour of the Universe? And while not every planetaruim can own a state-of-the-art digital system, these 16 analog star displays from our friends at Oobject are simply stunning.
When your done jauning through the solar system, check out these mechanical planetary models, these international houses of planets, and the world's most wonderful telescopes.
If you head up to Springfield Massachusetts you can see this unique projector which was restored in 1996 for the appropriately named, Seymour Planetarium. It was built just before WWII at a time when the four other planetariums in the US all used Zeiss machines.
The Mark I Zeiss represents the beginning of modern planetaria—accurately projecting stars and their relative movements, over time, onto the inside of a dome. It was developer by Walther Bauersfeld, chief design engineer and later director of Carl Zeiss just after the first World War. Like many scientific objects, this first generation machine does not look like what became the standard shape.
This is a duplicate of the post which shows the whole contraption. However, the Zeiss Mark I is such a beautiful object that we couldn't resists posting this close up.
The second Zeiss model has a dumbbell form that remains unchanged today. This one was in use until the early 70's when it was replaced by a newer model Zeiss.
Photo: Dave Bullock / eecue
This is one of Zeiss current range of planetarium projectors, which favor the ‘disco ball' design.
One of the three projectors the Zeiss currently offer.
Looking at this latest projector from Zeiss, you can see that the original design of the Model II Zeiss remains visible half a century later.
Although Zeiss dominate planetarium projectors, Minolta produced several models, such as this one.
The first truly affordable home planetarium projector was only released very recently. Using bright LED's, the HomeStar Pro costs less than $300.
The fully automated Spitz A4
A 60s model Spitz projector with spherical projection.
Between the small polyhedral A series projector, and the larger A 3 P, Spitz produced a large projector to rival Zeiss designs, but still based upon pinhole projection.
In the late 30s, Armand Spitz set out to create a much cheaper planetarium projector that could be affordable by schools. The results was the A, A-1 and A-2 which were based upon a revolving dodecahedron.
Unfortunately we have no idea who made this device. However, you can see it along with some excellent pictures of other projectors at Owen Phairis', Big Bear Traveling Planetarium website.
A very nice shot of Montreal Planetarium's Zeiss Projector.