In the News

Happy 100th Birthday to Planetariums!


Springfield Science Museum Hosts Celebration on Oct. 21

Along with planetariums around the world, the Springfield Museums will mark the 100th birthday of the first planetarium with a Planetarium Centennial this Saturday, October 21, from 11am–3pm. The special events are free with Museum admission, but seating is limited; reserve your spot in the Welcome Center on Saturday.

Located in the Museums’ newly upgraded Seymour Planetarium, the celebration will include telescope demonstrations, hands-on activities, and three special presentations:

  • 1pm: Talk by Astronomy Magazine columnist Phil Harrington
  • 2pm: A string trio from the Springfield Symphony Orchestra with a night-sky-inspired performance
  • 3pm: Live Planetarium Show: Zeiss Centennial and the Making of the Korkosz Projector

The very first planetarium projector was completed on October 21, 1923 by the Carl Zeiss Company in Germany – and that is also where the worldwide centennial celebration will begin on Saturday.

Here in the United States, Zeiss’s partner is Seiler Planetarium of St. Louis. In April 2023, Seiler installed a state-of-the-art Zeiss Velvet Duo full-dome projection system and a high-end sound system in the Seymour Planetarium, making it one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the country.

Representatives from Seiler will be in Springfield on Saturday to celebrate this milestone birthday.

“I’m extremely proud to play a role in the history of this planetarium in Springfield, representing two esteemed companies -- Seiler and Zeiss,” said Howard George, Seiler Projection Systems Engineer.

“We were the sixth planetarium to open in the U.S. and [as such] we have been a part of planetarium history for most of the past 100 years,” said Kevin Kopchynski, STEM Curator at the Springfield Museums. “The first U.S. planetarium inspired Frank Korkosz, along with his brothers John and Stanley, to build our own planetarium projector, the Korkosz Starball -- the second made in the U.S. and still operating almost 86 years later.”, One Admission/Five Museums,
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About The Springfield Museums


THE SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS are located on the Quadrangle at 21 Edwards Street in the heart of downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated consortium of museums includes the Springfield Science Museum, the Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, and the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum, the first and only museum dedicated to the beloved children’s book author and Springfield native.


Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm

Advance tickets are strongly encouraged; please visit the Tickets page.

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For More Information:

Michelle M. Murphy, Vice President of Development and Marketing

413-263-6800, ext. 459

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm