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Paper: Exploring the Frontiers of Space in 3D
Volume: 533, ASP 2021: Sharing Best Practices – AstronomyTeaching and Public Engagement
Page: 63
Authors: Impey, C.; Danehy, A.
Abstract: An immersive, virtual exhibit of large telescopes and space missions is described. The exhibit aims to overcome the difficulty people have in appreciating the scale and complexity of modern, astronomical research facilities. Using detailed 3D models, ground- and space-based telescopes that are impossible to visit in person can be explored by moving through a virtual space. The exhibit was built with Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games. Users wear Oculus Quest virtual reality headsets and traverse the 3D exhibit using Xbox game controllers. The first version of the exhibit highlights telescopes and planetary science missions with major involvement of the University of Arizona, but it can be customized to include any major telescope or space mission. The exhibit was successfully debuted in 2021 at an event in Washington, DC, and in 2022 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.
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