Berlin, Planetarium

Over 50 years ago as a Cub Scout we took a trip to New York’s Hayden Planetarium. It wasn’t the show that impressed me the most. As we sat in the theater I couldn’t take my eyes off that large monster planetarium projector that towered over us . What you see is the main star ball from a large theater planetarium. Each lens has a film showing a portion of the night sky. There are 17 lenses that complete the picture. This was a very costly device. Few were made and I can’t even guess what the original cost would have been. Doing a bit of computer research leads me to believe this was a Minolta MS Series unit. It’s over two foot in diameter. The ball is mounted on a cast iron pedestal bringing the total hight to over four foot tall. I’m not sure if it can be made to project and have not tried to play with it. As complex as it looks the principle is simple… with a strong enough light source in the unit and a very dark room the film in each lens should project. This is an old style unit with a piece of film in each lens… The new planetariums are now all digital. The ball has a real space-age feel and an incredible sculptural presence. It stops people in their tracks. Height: 49, Diameter: 24,