JENA, GERMANY — Siddaramaiah, the Minister of the Indian state of Karnataka, inaugurated the Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium in Bangalore after extensive renovation work.

Zeiss was in charge of the technological overhaul and provided assistance as an experienced advisor during reconstruction work on the dome. The hybrid planetarium system comprises an optical-mechanical planetarium projector, the Zeiss Skymaster ZKP 4 with LED illumination, and a digital video system, the Zeiss powerdome Velvet, for all projection needs on the planetarium’s dome. “Today, we are fulfilling our long-cherished wish of allowing visitors to see the universe with all its brilliant and contrast-rich images thanks to the Zeiss projectors,” said Pramod Galgali, director of the Planetarium, at the inauguration.

The hybrid planetarium allows visitors to enjoy an unmatched night sky that’s very close to the real thing, combined with video projections of astronomical objects. What’s special about it is the joint control, which allows the analog night sky and digital images to always be in sync: while the night sky is slowly brought into view, visitors notice the way in which the constellations, planets, gas nebulae and all other astronomical bodies move just as they do in nature itself.

“Like in Bangalore, many planetariums opt to combine a star projector with digital video projection in order to make the most of both technologies – the brilliance of optical stars and the versatility of digital projections – for their presentations,” said Dr. Martin Wiechmann, head of the Planetarium's business unit at Zeiss. ”Furthermore, the Zeiss Velvet video system with its six high-contrast projectors is excellent when it comes to visualizing specially produced dome films, including a film about the discovery of the cosmos, produced by the Jena Planetarium.“

The technical overhaul in collaboration with Zeiss also included the reconstruction of the planetarium theater, the newly built projection dome, the surround sound system and the integrated dome lighting. 

The Jawaharlal Nehru planetarium with a projection dome that measures 15 meters in diameter and featured a Zeiss spaceflight planetarium was inaugurated in 1989 by the city of Bangalore. The planetarium is sponsored by the government of Karnataka. The aim is to promote astronomy and associated sciences among a wider audience and in an entertaining way. It aims to inspire young people to get involved in science and consider a career in the field. The unique courses have made the planetarium nothing short of renowned and draw over 200,000 visitors each year. 

In a business partnership spanning almost 30 years, Wiechmann notes that a collaboration fueled by cooperation and friendship has developed between Zeiss and the planetarium in Bangalore. This collaboration is supported in particular by the Indian representative office ORBIT Animate.