IPS Newsletter — Issue 5 — September 2019
WorldWide Telescope needs input from planetarians
Shared by Peter Williams, AAS WorldWide Telescope:
AAS WorldWide Telescope Seeking Input for 2020 Development Roadmap
"The team behind the free and open-source AAS WorldWide Telescope software is starting to put together their development roadmap for the year 2020, and they want your input!
"For those unfamiliar with it, the AAS WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a free and open-source astronomical software system used by planetariums, researchers, educators, and amateur astronomers. It includes both a Windows application and a "web client" that brings the power of the WWT to the web browser (http://worldwidetelescope.org/webclient). WWT started out as a project of Microsoft Research but is now brought to you by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. To get involved in the WWT community, please consider signing up for our relaunched discussion forum at https://wwt-forum.org/ or signing up for our newsletter at https://bit.ly/wwt-signup.
"The WWT development team is starting to prioritize project goals for the year 2020, and we're excited to deliver new features that will make our planetarium users happy. As the first part of this process, we're seeking input from our users — as well as folks who don't use WWT now but might consider it in the future. Is there something preventing you from using WWT in your dome? If so, let us know! If you're running WWT today, what features would bring it to the next level for you? Whatever your opinion, please reach out by emailing the WWT Director, Peter K. G. Williams, at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I render? Let me count the ways.
Well, actually Jason Fletcher at the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston is counting them, and reports his results on his Fulldome Blog post.
He writes: "In recent years, the 3D industry went from very little support of fisheye rendering and now every modern render engine fully embraces it. I think we can thank the rise of VR for helping to shine a light on immersive production."
It will not be a surprise to learn (spoiler-not alert) that Blender is the #1 choice - but what is the second?
Spreading the news
It seems that the world of information is exploding, and we're all running around with butterfly nets trying to catch useful bits and pieces.
IPS realizes this, and tries its best (with its faithful volunteers) to share relevant planetarium news with our members. Are there new domes and upgrades? Is there a dome in danger of closing that we could help? Who's been promoted? Hired? Retired?
Right now we have several ways to share information. First, of course, is this newsletter. There also is the Latest News on the IPS Homepage, plus Facebook and Twitter. These digital methods have their strengths (timeliness) and weaknesses (they are ephemeral). And, of course, there is Planetarian, which is the permanent record, but also the slowest method.
To make the most of Communicator, we are trying an experiment by sharing a number of links to stories in the media. If you like this feature, let us know and we will consider expanding it.
- The Khan Planetarium on the campus of Elizabeth City State University (North Carolina) reopens after upgrading. http://www.dailyadvance.com/News/2019/09/05/ECSU-event-celebrates-upgraded-planetarium.html
- Stephen Case, director of the Strickler Planetarium at Olivet Nazarene University (Burbonnais, Illinois) shares beautiful memories about his childhood at the Longway Planetarium (Flint, Michigan). https://www.daily-journal.com/outdoors/skywatch-september/article_b8916b9c-ce85-11e9-b079-b30325abfbfe.html
- Inavate, the media resource for AV technology, integration, and management for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, takes a look at the specialist world of providing AV for planetariums. http://www.inavateonthenet.net/features/article/out-of-this-world-a-look-at-the-planetarium-market
- The new planetarium at the state-of-the-art science center at Sacramento State University (California) is set to open and selected Two Small Pieces of Glass to do it. https://www.csus.edu/news/articles/2019/8/27/Sac-State-ready-to-show-off-planetarium-with-public-shows-.shtml
- In Allentown (Pennsylvania), the Dieruff High School Planetarium has reopened after being closed for nearly 10 years. It is now called the Learning Dome. https://www.mcall.com/news/education/mc-nws-allentown-dieruff-planetarium-20190824-e6et4jrxd5aw3dfqtdhjuzwcfe-story.html
Hola from Buenos Aires
Bryant Gonzalez is still traveling in South America on his mission to visit planetariums, and this time reports from Argentina.
"I was in COMPLEJO ASTRONÓMICO MUNICIPAL in ROSARIO, this is a planetarium located in Parque Urquiza. This uses a Zeiss Projector IV, it is the twin model of Planetarium Humboldt in Caracas where I worked, this place also has a museum in the third floor where there are some different models of telescopes and exhibitions of astronomy and sciences. There are two observatoriums and each week there activities and speech of astronomy given by specialists in astronomy. The pictures I attach are from the external and internal dome, projector, and projection belong to Esmeralda Sosa the technician and photographer from planetarium."
As always, you can follow Bryant's travels on his website and social networks.
- NEW: International Observe the Moon Night, 5 October.
Registration for International Observe the Moon Night 2019 is now open. You can register your event, check out materials to publicize your event, and review hosting tips on moon.nasa.gov/observe.
- October 15, Abstract submission deadline for IPS 2020. https://www.ips-planetarium.org/page/IPS2020CallforAbstracts
- October 4-10, World Space Week, https://www.worldspaceweek.org/
- October 5, Astronomy Day, https://www.astroleague.org/al/astroday/astrodayform.html
- December 31, deadline for A Week in the United States, https://www.ips-planetarium.org/page/WeekinUS
- December 31, deadline for A Week with the GDP, https://www.ips-planetarium.org/page/Weekwithgdp
- December 31, deadline for Pages of Stars competition, https://www.ips-planetarium.org/page/pagesofstars
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