A few months ago, we officially retired the Zeiss Mark VI Star Projector at Morehead Planetarium. We’d had it for 42 years and it served us well. However, the ol’ Zeiss had been getting old and despite the heroic efforts by our Chief Technician, Steve Nichols, to keep it going the decision was made to put ‘er down. And since we added a digital system to our planetarium over a year ago, we were able to just roll on forward. However, before the Zeiss was dismantled, we thought we’d shoot some footage of it and put together a short tribute video. RIP Zeiss.

6 Responses to “A Tribute to the Zeiss Mark VI Star Projector”

  1. Shawn Laatsch

    Wonderful video! That was a special machine and it did a wonderful job showing the sky and training the astronauts during the Mercury to Apollo era. While it will be missed, your new digital system is awesome and will usher in many new opportunities.


    Shawn Laatsch
    Planetarium Manager – Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiii

  2. Jay Heinz

    Thanks, Shawn. Although it’s sad to see it leave, its time has passed. And as you know, we’re having a lot of fun with the digital system.

  3. Sola

    The same projector was at the Hayden for many years, and I miss watching it twirl sometimes. Thanks for the video; it gave us a smile.

  4. Michael

    Great tribute to a fascinating masterwork of engineering! I’ve visited the planetarium in Stuttgart, Germany a few month ago. They have preserved their Zeiss Mark VI A (A means “automatic” – it’s the only one Zeiss manufactured of this type) as exhibit in the entrance hall. Nice to know, that such a “giant’s dumbbell” will survive.

    Anyway congratulation to the new digital system!

  5. Tom Hocking

    Another old timer bites the dust.. 😉

  6. Art Whitfield

    How very sad. I love the old projectors – the projected stars are so much better than the digital projectors. What are you doing with the MK VI? Me, I’m looking to adopt a ZKP-1 someday just as a “rescue”. Good luck with your new system, but I will remain sad over here in Rochester, NY. Fortunately, our local MK VI is still running, but I fear the Strasenburgh staff will someday face the same decision you did.


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