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NVO and The Digital Planetarium. Ed Lantz Product Development manager Spitz, Inc. NVO Outreach Workshop. July 11, 2002. Dome Theaters. Traditional Planetarium. Large-Format Film Theatre. Digital Planetarium. Traditional Planetaria. Hemispheric Projection Screen Starfield Projector

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nvo and the digital planetarium
NVO and The Digital Planetarium
  • Ed Lantz
  • Product Development manager
  • Spitz, Inc.
  • NVO Outreach Workshop
  • July 11, 2002
dome theaters
Dome Theaters

Traditional Planetarium

Large-FormatFilm Theatre

Digital Planetarium

traditional planetaria
Traditional Planetaria
  • Hemispheric Projection Screen
  • Starfield Projector
    • High-resolution astronomical simulation
  • Hemispheric Slide Projection or “All Skys”
  • Narrow Field Video is Common
  • Laser Graphics - Full or Partial Dome
  • Combination Large-Format Film, Planetarium
  • Total Annual Attendance Worldwide: 87,400,000
planetarium facts
Planetarium Facts
  • Planetarium Worldwide % of
  • Classification # of Theaters Total
  • School/District 999 36%
  • University/College 397 14%
  • Museum/Science Center 375 14%
  • Observatory/Other 201 7%
  • Unclassified 782 28%
  • TOTAL 2754
  • * Courtesy The LNP Planetarium Compendium, Loch Ness Productions, 2000
planetarium facts5
Planetarium Facts
  • Dome Size (m) # of Theaters # Tilted Domes
  • 3 - 6 766 2
  • 6 - 9 696 3
  • 9 - 12 463 9
  • 12 - 15 191 23
  • 15 - 18 98 17
  • 18 - 21 102 34
  • 21 - 27 80 40
  • Portable 774
  • * Courtesy The LNP Planetarium Compendium, Loch Ness Productions, 2000
large format film theater
Large-Format Film Theater
  • Hemispheric Projection Screen
    • Tilted 20-30º typically
  • Large-Format Film
    • 15-perf, 70mm (original IMAX® format)
    • 8-perf, 70mm (increasingly popular format)
  • Dome Diameters from 15m to 28m+
  • 254 LF Theaters Worldwide - Half are Domes*
  • 175 Large-Format Films Released*
  • * From White Oak Associates, Inc. Inventory of Large Format Theaters, 1998 edition
digital planetarium
Digital Planetarium
  • Full Dome or Partial Dome Video Projection
  • Multiple Edge-Blended Projectors or Fisheye
    • CRT, DLP, LCoS projector technologies
  • 30+ Existing/Planned Theaters by 7 Manufacturers
  • Most Use Pre-Rendered, Pre-Recorded Shows
    • Hi-res digital video graphics technologies
  • Realtime 3D Interactive Becoming Affordable
digital dome manufacturers
Digital Dome Manufacturers
  • Evans & Sutherland - Salt Lake City, UT
  • GOTO Optical - Japan
  • Spitz, Inc. - Chadds Ford, PA
  • Sky-Skan - Nashua, NH
  • Trimension, Inc. - Burgess Hill, UK
  • Silicon Graphics/Zeiss/Schneider
  • Minolta - Japan
sampling of digital planetaria
Sampling of Digital Planetaria
  • AMNH/Rose Center - New York City
  • Bibliotheca Alexandria - Alexandria, Egypt
  • Burke Baker Planetarium - Houston, Texas
  • Exploration Place - Wichita, Kansas
  • National Space Centre - Leicester, UK
  • LodeStar Planetarium - Albuquerque, NM
  • Northern Lights Centre - Watson Lake, Yukon
  • National Air and Space Museum - DC
  • Adler Planetarium - Chicago
sampling of digital planetaria10
Sampling of Digital Planetaria

Bibliotheca Alexandria Alexandria, Egypt

LodeStar Planetarium

Albuquerque, NM

spherical projection formats
Spherical Projection Formats

Single Projector(Fisheye)

Edge-Blended Projectors

edge blended projection
Edge-Blended Projection

Polar Source is Split Into Sub-Frames and Edge-Blended

Sub Frame 1 Sub Frame 2 Sub Frame 3 Sub Frame 4

fisheye projection
Fisheye Projection

Polar Fisheye Source Image

  • Simple Configuration
  • Limited Hemispheric Resolution (2048x1536 pixels)
  • Requires Projector Inside Theater Space
feeding the digital planetarium
Feeding the Digital Planetarium
  • Astronomical Visualization
    • Night sky visualization
      • Naked eye and deep sky
    • 3D visualization and simulation
      • Astrophysical models
      • Digital Galaxy, Cosmic Atlas, Deep Space Explorer, etc.
  • Informal Educational Programming
    • Need compelling, meaningful stories
      • What is our place in the universe?
      • What’s out there?
      • What does it all mean?
        • My future, mankind’s future
    • Data queries & data interpretation
    • Visualization data mining, formatting
who are we
Who Are We?
  • Public Planetaria
    • Science & astronomy educators
    • Media/production staff
    • Astronomers
  • School Planetaria
    • Science and astronomy educators
  • Show Producers
    • Writers
    • Art directors
    • Animators
    • Editors
    • Musicians
graphics formats
Graphics Formats
  • Pre-Rendered Shows
    • Dome master format
    • Composited Images
      • All-Sky Images
      • Deep-Sky Objects
  • Realtime 3D
    • Texture maps
    • Star/Object Data
pre rendered shows
Pre-Rendered Shows
  • Dome Master Formats
    • Spherical mapping format
    • Master format for archiving, distribution, etc.
    • Independent of particular projection geometry
    • Defined only by resolution, field-of-view, file type
      • independent of specific projection scheme
polar fisheye master
Polar Fisheye Master

Longitude

+90º

+90º

-90º

Polar Fisheye(Azimuthal Equidistant)

-90º

180º

equidistant cylindrical master
Equidistant Cylindrical Master

Equidistant Cylindrical

+90º

Latitude

-90º

-180º

+180º

Longitude

cubic master
Cubic Master

Advantage - Efficient File FormatDisadvantage - Scene is Broken Up, Difficult to Preview

vis needs pre rendered shows
Vis Needs: Pre-Rendered Shows
  • All-Sky Images
    • Celestial sphere at all available wavelengths
      • specified coordinate system
      • compositing must be seamless, no missing data
    • Numerous mappings acceptable
      • azimuthal equidistant (separate hemispheres)
      • equidistant cylindrical
      • Hammer-Aitoff
      • cubic
  • Deep-Sky Objects
    • Need sufficient metadata!
all sky image resolution
All-Sky Image Resolution

Number of Pixels Required to Project Eye-Limited Resolution on Hemisphere:

Number of Pixels =

(0.5) (4 steradians) (57.3°/steradian)2 (60 arc min/deg)2

(0.5 arc min/pixel)2

= 300 Million Pixels!!!

all sky image resolution24
All-Sky Image Resolution
  • Fisheye Projection Systems
    • 1024x1024 or 1536x1536 polar frame
  • Edge-Blended Projection Systems
    • up to 4000x4000 polar frame
  • Highest Resolution All-Sky Images in Use
    • 14,000x7200 equidistant cylindrical (3 arcmin)
    • Nearly 300 MB file!
  • Seamless Transition to High-Magnification Images
    • Deep sky zoom with higher resolution
deep sky objects
Deep Sky Objects
  • Many Excellent Images Available from STScI/Aura
  • Where Do They Go in the Night Sky???
  • Need Metadata!
    • Image angular height/width
    • Image center RA/Dec
    • Image rotation w.r.t. celestial coordinates
    • Image brightness/magnitude?
    • Estimated object distance (for 3D systems)
  • Simplified Search Capability a Plus
deep sky object resolution
Deep Sky Object Resolution
  • Higher Resolutions allow Seamless Zooms
    • 1024x1024 useful
    • 4000x4000 better
    • 8000x8000 best!
image formats
Image Formats
  • Numerous Formats in Use
    • TARGA is currently most popular format
    • Compression artifacts can be a problem
  • High Dynamic Range Formats Needed
    • Display dynamic range limited (1000:1)
    • HDRI, Cineon, others…
other ideas
Other Ideas…
  • Automated Downloads
    • Solar weather
    • Solar system images, data
    • Transient phenomena
    • Current terrestrial/space based images & metadata
    • “Edu” releases – current event items
  • Connecting People & Resources
    • Not all data is accessible online
    • Queries can actually drive future research
    • Amateur astronomer image exchange
    • Astronomers have stories to tell… we need stories