Wayne State University

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History of the Wayne State Planetarium

The picture on the right shows Wayne State University students visiting the planetarium in Old Main circa 1955.The hand-operated machine was one of the earliest Spitz planetarium star machines.It is interesting to note that Spitz Corporation founder Armand Spitz had an assist from Professor Albert Einstein in designing the star “ball”, a pentagonal dodecahedron.
Wayne State University built the new planetarium in 1996 as part of the major renovation of Old Main that took place at that time. The planetarium features 59 seats under a 27 foot dome. The first sytem was an analog Spitz 512 projector, referred to as an optical-mechanical projector. Pictured on the left is a view of that system from the front of the room; on the right we see the view from the console.