Aspheric Plastic Lens and Planetarium MS-10 Registered as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology by the National Museum of Nature and Science

September 22, 2021

Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced that the aspheric plastic lens for CD players and the Minolta Planetarium MS-10 have been registered as Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology by the National Museum of Nature and Science.

Konica Minolta was given this prestigious designation twice in the past, for its Sakura Tennenshoku Film (Sakura Color Film) in 2013 and Minolta 7000 in 2020.

Aspheric Plastic Lens for CD Players

This was the world’s first ultra-high precision aspheric plastic lens for CD drives which Konishiroku Photo Industry Co., Ltd., one of the forerunners of Konica Minolta, developed for commercial use in 1984, leveraging its state-of-the-art optical and nano-fabrication technologies. With the high form accuracy of 0.1μm or less and the unparalleled double-sided aspheric surface, this revolutionary product uses a single lens to deliver the performance required of pickup lenses for CD players. This success accelerated the development of pickup lenses for various optical discs including DVDs and Blu-ray DiscsTM and greatly contributed to the creation and growth of the optical disc industry. In recognition of such historical importance, the aspheric plastic lens was registered as an Essential Historical Material.

Minolta Planetarium MS-10

The MS-10 was the first planetarium model developed for mass production by the planetarium division of Minolta Camera Co., Ltd. (present-day Konica Minolta Planetarium Co., Ltd.), which can project approximately 5,000 stars up to the sixth magnitude. A total of 58 MS-10 units were produced and the first, oldest extant unit is still working, having been installed in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan in 1966.

The MS-10 intensifies the brightness of radiant stars using special micro lenses. In addition, the MS-10 delivers an emotionally moving experience to viewers with its ability to reproduce the twinkling of stars, which was revolutionary for the time, as well as colors. The MS-10 was registered as an Essential Historical Material as a heritage that shows the technical standard and astronomy education in those days.

Konica Minolta remains committed to further enhancing its core optical and nano-fabrication technologies, while combining its image analysis and other core technologies with digital technologies to create new value by “visualizing the invisible.”

About Essential Historical Materials for Science and Technology

This registration system has been implemented by the National Museum of Nature and Science. Its purpose is to preserve and utilize materials that have important significance in passing them on to the next generation, as well as materials that have a noticeable impact on the way of life, society, economy, and culture of the nation. The first registration of products was made in 2008, followed by annual selections since then.


Blu-ray DiscTM is a trademark of Blu-ray Disc Association. 

For More Information