Classical and Legacy Planetarium Products

Special Effects Discs For Classical Planetariums

Special Effect Discs In Action

With many hours of material, Sky-Skan’s Special Effects Discs bring exciting full-motion video to classical planetarium presentations. Our library is an excellent resource to bring added excitement to your audiences.

With a properly tuned CRT projector and the super-black backgrounds of these discs, objects appear to float in space rather than appear as video rectangles. Each sequence fades out of black, plays, and then fades to black. Imbedded Chapter and Picture Stop codes let you access sequences smoothly even if you don’t have a SPICE Automation system. Detailed production notes provide helpful background information, along with precise frame numbers. The videos are available in NTSC format on laser discs or DVD.

Special Effects Discs include production music and sound effects, synchronized with the visuals. You’re free to use it any way you wish in your in-house planetarium presentations. Each disc comes with 30 minutes of stereo music and sound effects (except for disc 1, which has 60 minutes of monophonic music on audio tracks 1 and 2).


These discs are incredible bargains. For the price of a single special effect projector, you get 30 minutes of wide-ranging effects. Compare to stock footage suppliers and you’ll find our discs provide better astronomy-targeted content at a fraction of the cost! Our licensing is better too (50 years). To purchase a disc, contact Sky-Skan sales.


Licensing is easy with these discs. For United States customers, we provide a license form, which grants you limited usage rights for your planetarium theater. For other countries, contact your sales representative for more details.

Looking for Fulldome content?

Our Special Effects Discs are for classical planetariums with individual projectors. If you have a fulldome system, please visit our content section.


Spacecraft Image Disc 1

We brought together one of the world’s foremost spacecraft model builders (Brian Sullivan), a cinematographer with Hollywood special effects credits, and Academy Award-winning Ultimatte compositing technology to create 30 minutes of beautiful spacecraft model animations.

Special Effects Disc 1

Contains zoom approaches to all the planets, in addition to a series of zooms and moves of objects such as a Space Shuttle, MIR Space Station, and LEM landing. Also included: a rising Saturn, 3D Phobos probe, astronomical photographs, and a magnificent fractal-generated comet nucleus with effervescence, which alone cost over $30,000 to render.

Special Effects Disc 2

3D stellar models and a beautiful Hubble Space Telescope, Supernova 1987A, a brilliant blue rotating sphere which then explodes and forms an expanding debris shell, a close-up rotating neutron star and more.

Special Effects Disc 3

A long and complex Solar System Formation Sequence, a rotating Sun, stellar evolution, the large and small Magellanic Clouds, the JPL Earth flyover, and a lovely lunar eclipse sequence.

Special Effects Disc 4

A Solar System effects gallery of distinction is featured in Disc 4, with an array of solid modeled planets

Special Effects Disc 5

Tumbling fractal-generated asteroids, Triton with erupting black geysers, a fully 3D modeled Alpha Centauri and Castor, the Galileo probe and Jovian moon encounters, animated planet rotations, including an Earth rotation obtained from Galileo.

Special Effects Disc 6

An Antarctic flyover, a Quasar with jets, a Galaxy with active nuclear region, rotating black hole, rotating Venus with dissolve through clouds to Magellan radar globe and JPL flights over the Venusian surface. A beautiful Christmas Star, sporadic meteors, a meteor shower, an orbit over Martian pole, and – for those underwater scenes – 3D JASON and ALVIN submarines.

Special Effects Disc 7

A 3D rotating galaxy which moves to an equatorial view showing a halo of globular clusters; the rotating Sun featured in both white light and false-color X-Ray view; a Solar limb and prominence effect, animated solar wind, Earth magnetosphere, and Ulysses probe; Earth weather sequence over a rotating Earth, and new images from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Special Effects Disc 8

An all-new collection of animations and effects, a 3D animation of the original William Herschel 20-foot telescope in Cape Town, a TV-format solar system fly-through, and a solar flare jet for projection atop your solar surface panorama, and more.

Special Effects Disc 9

Special Effects Video Disc #9 includes alignment and calibration images, a huge Jupiter rotation, an animation depicting the dust trail left behind in a comet’s orbit, a close-up of the Sun rotating, with Mercury and Venus, plus individual full-screen rotations of Mercury and Venus, and more.

Special Effects Disc 10

3D animated views of Mimas, starfield and nebula fly-throughs, and a black hole "swallowing" a blue giant star, and much more.

Special Effects Disc 11

The ultimate collection of disasters, explosions, collisions, and general cosmic mayhem, colliding galaxies, the Ulysees Solar Polar Explorer spacecraft, Leonid Meteor Storms of 1933/1966, and Volcanic Lava Eruption (for your volcano panorama).

Special Effects Disc 12

Newly forming planetary system sequence, radio telescope array animations, the 3D stellar distribution around the Sun, a spiral galaxy with bipolar jets, a large impact explosion for use with your own panorama, additional terrestrial and planetary impact animations, a time-lapse of Mars as viewed by the Hubble Space Telescope, and a simulated telescopic view of Mars.

Special Effects Disc 13

An excellent collection for enthusiasts of Mars, sequences cover surface exploration, its relation to Earth, and some entertaining imagery from ’50s Hollywood. Trace the icy orbits of comets around the Sun and view spectacular video footage of Hale Bopp. Examine asteroids, their proximity to Earth, and imaginative plans to avoid cataclysmic impact; more animated spacecraft sequences and a captivating flyby of Eta Carinae.