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63Re: "Planetarian" Forum

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  • Schmidt Mickey Civ 50 TS/CC
    Jan 23, 2001
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      In response to the question about fulldome presentations evolving to include
      "non-astronomy" presentations.

      I for one am planning on it. But then, perhaps I'm in a unique situation,
      but I think not that unique. Since I am associated with a College, albeit
      the USAF Academy, most of our experience is with supporting cadet training
      in academics or military arts & sciences. We have used the facility to
      support as many curriculum areas as possible. Public astonomy and space
      technology support came out of the fact that with a mechanical planetarium
      it was difficult to do much else for the public. As you can imagine military
      programs were not popular during the Viet Nam Era.

      I see the capabilities of the fulldome systems as allowing us (college and
      univsersity affiliated institutions) to become an exciting medium for
      supporting many diverse academic studies. Whether it's a virtual wind tunnel
      for the Aero Department, Virtual tours of historic battle sites to analyse
      the military applications used then, or entering a microscopic niche for
      bacteria, viruses, or seeing inside mechanical or electronic devices or
      watching stars form in a nebula. Bits and pieces of these presentations will
      still educatate and entertaing the public.

      I think NASA and astronomers are discovering enough new information that
      there should be no shortage of astronomical subject matter for those who
      want to remain purists.

      I think this new technology should be used to meet the needs of your funding
      institution. If their mission is to support public education in astronomy
      then that will be your top priority. The rest follows as there is time or

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