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Paper: Affordable Digital Planetariums with WorldWide Telescope
Volume: 443, Earth and Space Science: Making Connections in Education and Public Outreach
Page: 109
Authors: Rosenfield, P.; Connolly, A.; Fay, J.; Sayres, C.; Tofflemire, B.
Abstract: Digital planetariums can provide a broader range of educational experiences than the more classical planetariums that use star-balls. This is because of their ability to project images, content from current research, and the 3-D distribution of the stars and galaxies. While there are hundreds of planetariums in the country, the reason that few of these are fully digital is the cost. In collaboration with Microsoft Research (MSR), we have developed a way to digitize existing planetariums for approximately $40,000 using freely available software. We describe here how off the shelf equipment, together with a WorldWide Telescope client, can provide a rich and truly interactive experience. This will enable students and the public to pan though multi-wavelength full-sky scientific data sets, explore 3-D visualizations of our Solar System (including trajectories of millions of minor planets), near-by stars, and the SDSS galaxy catalog.
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