On flying through the universe

Every once in a while, I scratch my head and wonder why people trust me with *really* expensive equipment.

Two weeks ago, I went to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh for a PSU Alumni Association event showcasing Penn State astronomy. As part of the program, I was asked to set the stage by giving a tour of universe. At PSU, we do this (in 3D!) with our "AstroWall" system and the Digital Universe Atlas from the Hayden. It turns out that at the Buhl Planetarium, they also use the Digital Universe on their dome. It is a bit more sophisticated an interface, but is otherwise the same software that we use (and you can use on your computer). In the end, I had to do a show where I was running the show by manipulating the interface on two LCDs, speaking into a microphone, and using the mouse to control the flying motion. It didn't go as smoothly as it could have, but I got kudos from everyone, so I guess it was not a flaming disaster.

By the end, though, we all felt that we want one, that is, a 50' dome and a $1M projection system. So, if you've got $2M sitting around collecting dust, let me know and I can put it to good use.


Blogger Pat D. said...

So...are there some pictures of this event? Captain Palma as the Grand (yet Fair) Overlord of the Universe? Just curious.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Doesn't look like it -- I don't remember anyone having a camera, actually.

I'm glad there's no audio. As I said, I got kudos from everyone, but I felt like I did a crappy job.

12:33 AM  

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