On January 22, 2015 the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, officially inaugurated a new planetarium equipped with ZEISS technology in the Czech city of Hradec Králové. The modern planetarium, which features a 12-meter dome and seats 100 people, forms part of the astronomical observatory complex located on the outskirts of the university city in north-east Bohemia. The auditorium is slightly tilted to ensure that all the members of the audience have an unobstructed view of the fulldome shows. Five ZEISS VELVET projectors specially designed for dome theaters create an absolutely black background, enhancing the natural effect and brilliance of the artificial night sky. This outstanding system shows ZEISS technology at its best.
All the system functions such as planetarium and image projection are controlled by a cluster of eight cutting-edge, networked computers which were supplied by ZEISS as part of the package. Each of the five projectors projects one part of the overall image. These five partial images are perfectly combined to produce a fulldome image without any visible edges, filling the entire 230 square meters of the dome surface. "The fulldome image in Hradec Králové is the best we have ever achieved with our technology in every single respect – and it is far superior to comparable systems from other companies," says Wilfried Lang, Vice President Planetarium Division at ZEISS. The ZEISS control system also operates peripheral functions such as the sound equipment and dome lighting.
In addition to the fulldome technology, ZEISS has supplied three new planetarium shows which were developed by the American Museum of Natural History in New York. ZEISS has also provided a special software program which enables the planetarium team to create their own shows and to present them live or play them back automatically.
"This new digital planetarium provides the Hradec Králové region with a cutting-edge facility for students and qualified professionals in up-and-coming disciplines of modern technology. I'm confident that the planetarium will boost public interest in these fields even further," said Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in his inauguration speech. The planetarium forms part of a strategy that aims to increase the attractiveness of studying at Czech schools, universities and other higher education institutions in connection with science and research activities.
ZEISS has had a successful relationship with the observatory in Hradec Králové for some 60 years. Previous orders have included several professional telescopes and a small-dome planetarium.
Source: Carl Zeiss /zeiss.com