The Digital Universe

Another one in the CXC/CfA Visualizing Astronomy series: “The Digital Universe: Cosmic Cartography and Data Visualization”, by Brian Abbott of Hayden Planetarium & Department of Astrophysics, next Tuesday, Nov 13, at 2pm in Phillips.

The Digital Universe is a 3-D, interactive atlas of the universe created and distributed by the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium. The atlas is freely available on the web and is distributed to our business partners for use in full-dome video planetariums worldwide. The atlas is also utilized in pre-rendered content for Space Shows and Science Bulletins, a video program that brings subscribers the latest developments in astrophysics.
At the heart of the Digital Universe is scientific data visualization, where accuracy, not art, is our top priority. We use a variety of tools to render scientific data including Partiview, an open- source visualization tool, and Uniview, a full-dome package created in collaboration with students from Linkoping University and SCISS, AB in Sweden. Uniview allows for the seamless exploration of scales ranging from the mountains on Earth to the farthest known quasars. Uniview also provides for network collaboration for remote lectures, teaching, and professional development within a global network of users who log into the same database.

During my talk, I will demonstrate the Digital Universe atlas, discuss some of the visualization issues we encounter while building the atlas, then, in workshop-style, focus on how to use Partiview to visualize your own observed and simulated data.

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