The most popular modern planetarium instrument is the Spitz System 512, installed in over 150 locations around the world. It incorporates a 20 or 75-watt xenon arc lamp source for starfield projection.
The System 512 can be used in domes ranging from 24 to 50 feet in diameter, and is recommended for sites wishing to control the sky and other visuals manually - mainly for teaching purposes. The 512 can also be upgraded with an ATM-4 automation system for automatic operation. The instrument projects between 1354 and 4054 stars, selectable at the time of order.
The System 512 offers manual control of all instrument functions and in many cases all instrument and auxiliary functions, including elevator, room lighting and special effects projectors.
System 512 Console
The instrument features latitudinal, daily, annual and precessional motions for demonstration of various celestial phenomena, and the entire instrument may be turned in azimuth rotation (360-degree continuous heading). This motion is extremely useful in theaters designed with directional seating, and provides comfortable and proper lines of sight for the audience. An optional elevator for lowering and storing the instrument transforms the planetarium into a versatile multi-media presentation room.