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June 2020 b IPS Communicator
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IPS Newsletter — Issue 16 — JUNE 2020 b


IPS Virtual Conference: Save the Dates

The IPS is thrilled to announce the dates and times for our upcoming virtual conference.

This conference will be FREE to IPS members. To join, or renew your membership in advance of the conference go here. Registration for the virtual conference will open up on July 3rd.

With our membership spread across the globe scheduling has been a difficult task. The virtual conference is designed to treat all of our international audience fairly, with shifting start times each day. Even though times each day are optimized for certain timezones, we encourage IPS members to attend all sessions if possible.

Mark your calendars for the following dates and times:

  • Monday, August 3 from 15:00 - 23:00 (UT), optimal for North American and Latin American time zones.
  • Wednesday, August 5 from 6:00 - 13:00 (UT), optimal for Asian and Oceanian time zones.
  • Friday, August 7 from 10:00 - 18:00 (UT), optimal for European and African time zones.

To verify the time for your specific time zone, please go to the Time Zone Converter website.

Those of you who have had sessions accepted for the in-person Edmonton conference will be contacted this week with instructions about preparing for the virtual conference.

Virtual Conference sponsorship information is available here.

I hope that you can join us virtually this August,

--Mark SubbaRao, IPS President

Racial Justice
Logo for IPS inclusive excellence

The IPS Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee invites you to take a few moments to share your experiences and ideas on racial justice with us in order to help inform our anti-racism work.

Provide your feedback here. All questions are optional and you can fill out as much or as little of the form as you wish. Thank you in advance for taking the time to complete the form, we really appreciate the feedback!

For resources and more information on racial justice, visit our webpage.

Welcome to New Affiliate Representative
Image: Marlies van de Weijgaert

Marlies van de Weijgaert studied astronomy at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands, where she obtained her MSc in 2017. From 2010 onward she coordinates outreach activities at the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute. This includes public events at the Blaauw Observatory and shows in the NOVA Kapteyn mobile planetarium. Since 2014 she was planetarium operator at the Infoversum fulldome planetarium in Groningen, now known as DOT, where since 2017 she leads the DOT live planetarium operator team and coordinates the astronomy events. For Science LinX, the science center of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), she coordinates school visits and astronomy activities. She is actively involved in the Dark Sky Park Lauwersmeer, where she has a leading role in the construction of a new observatory, and is project leader of a recently funded initiative to raise awareness for the quality of the dark sky along the Wadden Sea (the wetlands area in the North of the Netherlands, a UNESCO world heritage site). In May 2020 she was elected chairman of the Association of Dutch Speaking Planetariums (PLANed), and as such the IPS affiliate representative for the planetariums in The Netherlands and Flanders. In addition she is secretary of the Royal Netherlands Association for Meteorology and Astronomy (KNVWS). In her free time she is an enthusiastic hobby cook.

Planetarians' Webinar
Image: Jason Fletcher

26 June 2020 at 2 pm PDT time (21:00 UT)

For this month’s webinar, Jason Fletcher will give a presentation and lead discussion on VJ-ing with NestDrop in the Dome. Take your evening music shows to the next level with dome visuals which react to the music. Learn how to get NestDrop visuals running on your dome system. Gain access to our custom VJ software and library of 9,800 of curated presets. Learn about the Spout realtime video sharing framework. Experiment with VJ-ing in the dome. Jason Fletcher is an Associate Producer and 3D animator at the Charles Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Science, Boston. He also is the author of

To join the webinar, follow the instructions on this page.

Socially distant show production app
Festoon logo

A new fulldome content production and previewing tool called Festoon is looking for beta testers /early adopters with a few free licenses. Festoon saves at least 30% of production time, bypassing the need to access a physical dome or planetarium to develop and test iterations, it also has a streaming element. You can create and customise your own dome within a VR or desktop environment. Click here or email Ruth Coalson for more information.

Important Dates

Dome Dialogues e-Conferences: ongoing

Planetarians' Webinar: 26 June 2020 at 2 pm PDT time (21:00 UT)

LIPS 2020: Tuesday - Thursday, July 14 -16

IPS Virtual Conference: August 3-7

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