The heart of the presentation is the true-to-nature projection of the night sky accompanied by interesting insights on astronomy. It is complemented by simulation software that permits real-time simulation of free movement through space: a flight from Earth to the outer boundaries of the observable universe. The digital projection on the dome will give visitors the sense of taking the journey themselves.
In a clear night sky over Munich, it is at least theoretically possible to see more than 3,500 heavenly bodies: but only if there were no Munich – and no civilization. Air pollution and light pollution interfere with our clear view of stars above us. In the planetarium, by contrast, visitors not only experience a perfect night sky over Munich. They can also see how it looks over any chosen point on the Earth – or at the time of Christ's birth, or how it will look in 1,000 years. This is made possible by the Zeiss Skymaster ZKP4 fibre optic star projectors: With LED light sources and about 7,300 optical fibres, these state-of-the-art devices make it possible to show the night sky and demonstrate planetary motions. Visitors can travel the 13.7 billion years to the boundary of the observable universe while making fly-bys of planets and our solar system or taking in the view from outside the Milky Way.
The planetarium was fully renovated between 2013 and 2015. Now a star projector equipped with the latest fibre optic technology, supported by six digital projects, brings the entire observable universe into the 15-metre projection dome.
The world's first projection planetarium opened at the Deutsches Museum in 1925 – proposed by Oskar von Miller, the museum's founder. He first contacted Zeiss with a proposal to build a "rotating star sphere" in 1913. Under the guidance of Dr. Walther Bauersfeld, a planetarium was built on the basis of optical-mechanical light projection. The first Zeiss projector lit up the darkened dome in Munich with 4,500 stars. This projector and two follow-up models thrilled more than 8.5 million visitors to the Deutsches Museum – in the end approximately 80,000 per year.