When the Hayden Planetarium closed its doors in 1996 to make way for the Rose Center for Earth and Space and the new Hayden Planetarium, the mechanized, rotating, giant “dumbbell”-shaped Zeiss projector was dismantled. Two of the lenses were transferred to the Library’s Memorabilia Collection, the Museum’s physical archive of Museum history.
This was the Hayden Planetarium’s third Zeiss projector. Charles Hayden made the gift to purchase the first Zeiss projector for the Planetarium’s 1935 opening as well as the second, upgraded projector. The Hayden Planetarium’s third Zeiss projector, the Model VI, was acquired in 1969 and through the generosity of the Charles Hayden Foundation.
The projector’s 120 lenses, each backed with opaque material pierced to project stars and planets onto the dome-shaped screen when the projector is lit. The images of the sky fit closely together to create a view of an artificial night sky.
Written by AMNH Staff