The "Hayden", the fourth planetarium in the United States, was established as early as 1935. When the American Museum of Natural History closed the "old Hayden" in January 1997 after 60 years of almost continuous operation, this did not mark an end, but rather the start of a new era of scientific education. In place of the old Hayden Planetarium there is now the "Rose Center for Earth and Space", a building complex with an outstanding architecture. The centerpiece is a sphere of 26 m diameter, which seems to float inside a cubic, glass-walled enclosure. The top half of the sphere houses the new Hayden Planetarium, the world's most technologically advanced star theater.
Technically, the Hayden Planetarium sets a groundbreaking example for domed theaters of the 21st century. The star projection machine is a specially modified UNIVERSARIUM Mark IX, with considerably expanded presentation capabilities and a number of specific features exclusive to the Hayden Planetarium.