On October 21, 1923 in Munich, Germany, the Carl Zeiss Jena Company presented the first projection planetarium, developed for the Deutsches Museum. It was the first public demonstration of an artificial starry sky and the birth of the modern planetarium. After several weeks of trial operation in Munich, the projector returned to Jena for completion. On May 7, 1925, it began regular operation at the Deutsches Museum. These key dates set the stage for a celebration of the 100-year history of projection planetariums from October 2023 to May 2025!
Planetariums are an integral part of our educational landscape. They show us the universe, where we live, where we come from, and how humans affect our planet. The stars and our night sky, however, are no longer the only topics. Planetariums are science theatres, temples of culture, and entertainment venues all in one.
Planetariums fulfill an educational mission and are committed to culture. They are a place of inspiration for children and young people. They encourage younger generations to become astronauts, provide a spatial view of the Earth, and explain worldviews in a historical context. Although planetariums are often not part of the obligatory curriculum throughout world, their contribution to scientific and social education is enormous.
Planetariums offer constantly changing and varied programs. They are the pinnacle of informal education, an extracurricular place of learning for children and adults alike. Modern planetarium technology and modern digital technologies work together to offer visitors experiences and insights that were unthinkable just a few years ago.
Planetariums are of particular relevance in our society. They allow us humans to understand our Earth – the only known place capable of sustaining life. They promote environmental awareness and environmentally friendly action with depth and emotion that is unique to the atmosphere of the planetarium.