Industry News: ZEISS VELVET 360-degree Projectors for Vienna Planetarium

360-degree video system by ZEISS will offer new learning opportunities at the planetarium

30 Nov 2017


The ZEISS planetarium in Vienna will receive a new video system for 360-degree projection. In addition to the existing technology, ZEISS will deliver ZEISS VELVET video projectors that boast the world’s highest contrast. The projectors, which were designed and produced specially for planetariums and simulators by ZEISS, achieve an absolute black background. This is a particular requirement in planetariums that put on a host of astronomical presentations. 

The first planetarium in Vienna was set up in 1927 and was initially intended to be open for a year – it was also the first planetarium outside Germany. It became a permanent feature in 1930, but was destroyed in 1945. The planetarium was opened back in 1964 and now stands in Vienna’s Prater park, near the famous giant Ferris wheel. The planetarium was given a complete overhaul at the turn of the century. 

The new digital video projection solution supplements the existing planetarium projector, a ZEISS UNIVERSARIUM, Model IX. This coupled system enables even more realistic and radiant planetarium shows than previously possible. While the optomechanical star projector makes the sky shine with natural brilliance, the new digital projection system supplements the programs with a wide diversity of didactic presentations and colorful astronomical objects. Thanks to the hybrid control unit, it’s easy for visitors to access the world of astronomy, enabling the planetarium to foster its mission to educate.

“In light of social change, planetariums are now becoming more important than ever before,” says Dr. Martin Wiechmann, Head of Planetariums at ZEISS. “They convey knowledge and where the limits of our knowledge are. They show how knowledge is created and how new insights help enhance it. The goal is to reach out primarily to children and young people. This new technology from ZEISS helps arouse the interest of the younger generations in science and technology.”

When the Vienna planetarium reopens in March 2018, it will give over hundreds of thousands of people each year the chance to be inspired by nature, science, technology and culture – right in the heart of the city.

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