At the June meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, many astronomers had the opportunity to see
fulldome video for the first time. In an evening presentation
offered at little cost to all AAS participants, the LodeStar
Astronomy Center provided a showcase for their activities and
exhibits, and part of the evening included a fifty-minute program in
the planetarium. They opened the presentation up to both Sky-Skan
and the Rose Center to show off some of our work.
The Rose Center's portion of the planetarium program consisted of one
segment each from both our first and second shows. Carter Emmart
spoke to the Orion Nebula sequence from "Passport to the Universe,"
and I described the production of a galaxy fly-in and star-formation
sequence from "The Search for Life." Orion had never shown outside
of America in New York; the star-formation portion had never been
shown outside of New York, period.
I think I speak for both Carter and myself when I say that we both
appreciated the opportunity to highlight the science that underlies
the imagery we produce at the Rose Center. The Orion sequence is
based on C. Robert O'Dell's published 3-D model of the nebula's
interior region; the planetary-formation sequence (of which the
star-formation sequence is one part) incorporates the work of more
than a dozen researchers. We have never had the opportunity to
highlight our work before such a large group of astronomical
researchers, and I hope the event benefitted the planetarium
community overall. The astronomers we spoke to (and who approached
us) afterward certainly seemed impressed.
I would like to extend my thanks to David Beining, Laurel Ladwig, and
the rest of the LodeStar crew for all their hard work in making the
event possible. I'd also like to express appreciation to Steve
Savage and his staff for assisting us in converting the brief
portions of the two shows to SkyVision format.
Presenting our material in Albuquerque was the first step of many
more to come, and I look forward to keeping everybody posted on
events as they develop.
Ryan Wyatt, Science Visualizer
Rose Center for Earth & Space
American Museum of Natural History
79th Street & Central Park West
New York, NY 10024