Zeiss Model II Star Projector - SaveTheBuhl.org

Buhl's Zeiss Model II Planetarium Star Projector
(A.K.A. Jake)

The dormant Zeiss Model II Projector here in Pittsburgh, sits in a dark and empty planetarium theater. The Zeiss could easily be restored today. However, there are "experts" propagating disinformation regarding the usefulness and the historical nature of this instrument. A number of links are included at the bottom of this page to dispel the notion that Buhl's Zeiss Model II Planetarium Star Projector has seen it's day, and is no longer of value. Perhaps a visit to these links will demonstrate the value of once again operating Buhl's "old" planetarium projector. (Not restoring or operating this equipment is to do the world an injustice.)

VIDEO CLIP - Video clip from within Zeiss Pit. The process of lowering the Zeiss and the floor covering over and rising into place takes several minutes. This video has been time-compressed, showing the whole process in under 2 minutes.

Realplayer is required to view this video clip. If you do not have Realplayer installed, you can obtain a free version from http://www.real.com.

The length of the projector is 12 feet and the center of motion is 9.81 feet above the floor. The weight of the movable components approach 2000 pounds. Total weight of the projector and support is 6000 pounds Total weight of elevator platform, projector support, and projector is 9000 pounds.

Jake's all dressed up for his 50th birthday party

The lattice-like projector support is designed to be a lightweight as possible to minimize vibration while the instrument is in motion. The construction of the planetary projector cages is similarly constructed.
This planetarium inspired the design of The Buhl Planetarium. http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/

The following few diagrams and drawings are just a small sample of the more than 30 pages of detailed electrical and mechanical schematics of the Zeiss Model II Planetarium Star Projector. These documents, courtesy of Carl Zeiss Germany, are currently on file at Save The Buhl.org.

The Zeiss Model II Planetarium projector creates all this magic without the use of any type of computer or software. This amazing fact is one of the reasons the Zeiss has been able to seamlessly perform for over 60 years.

The two large spheres are 29 inches in diameter and are made of thin (0.078-inch) sheet brass.

Copper plates 0.0006 inches thick (a stack of approximately 1700 of these plates is equal to 1 inch.) perforated with 65 different hole sizes to represent stars of different magnitudes.

Each sphere contains a 1000-watt illumination lamp for the star images and 16 individual star projector assemblies capable of displaying 9000 stars.

The Zeiss can display the nighttime sky, as seen from virtually anywhere on earth. This can be any nighttime sky 25,800 years into the future or the past. It takes I minute and 10 seconds to travel a year in "Zeiss time."

Click on photo above to read the story by Chris Potter.

This link encapsulates planetarium development. The first planetarium opens to the public in August of 1923. (Buhl's Zeiss Model II Projector was completed by Zeiss Optical in 1935 and installed in Pittsburgh in 1939.) See if you can discover what makes Buhl Planetarium famous.

Here is a One-Of-A-Kind planetarium projector designed and constructed by the staff of the California Academy of Science. This amazing projector functions today at the World Class Morrison Planetarium in San Fransisco. This year marks it's 50th year of service. The estimated worth of the Academy Projector is $3 Million. (Check out the entire site. It's ''Very Cool'')

Be sure to stop at the Springfield Science Museum the next time you are in Massachusetts. The Seymour Planetarium opened there on October 20th, 1937 and contains the Historic Korkosz Projector, the oldest American built Star Projector still in operation. In 1996 the projector was completly restored, and continues to operate on a daily basis. Springfield Science Museum has no immediate plans to replace this amazing projector.
(We at SaveTheBuhl.org would like to thank John Radzilowicz for giving us a heads-up to the location of this unique and historic stellarium.)

The oldest operational Planetarium Projector on the planet's surface is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science building. It is currently not operating or in the process of restoration. It sits dormant, and educates and inspires no one. The preservation of this historic scientific wonder is uncertain. Perhaps the actions taken by the Springfield Science Museum and the Morrison Planetarium could serve as a blueprint for the City of Pittsburgh.
Buhl Planetarium

The links included in this site are supplied for reference and educational purposes only. The inclusion of those links within this site does not necessarily imply or construe an association with or an endorsement of the content material contained within this website.

For more information and documentation, click here; CLICK HERE


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