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80 comments

Neil Tyson (1)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822069)

More like Neil Awesome.

Re:Neil Tyson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822181)

No! We must never forget that he was the man who demoted Pluto. I liked Pluto.

Re:Neil Tyson (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822279)

He does tend to ruin anything he is involved with. I've given up watching any science show that has him as the presenter; he is quite atrocious at it.

Re:Neil Tyson (2)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822325)

No, that was Mike Brown [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Neil Tyson (3, Informative)

14erCleaner (745600) | about 2 years ago | (#38823569)

Mike Brown discovered the planetoids that led to Pluto's demotion, but Tyson removed Pluto from a display at his planetarium, then wrote a book [amazon.com] about it.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

AmaDaden (794446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38830489)

That's true but kinda misleading. As I remember it that's not quite how it went down. It's been a while since I read the book but it was something like this. It started during a redesign of the planetarium. They decided to organize all the planets into obvious groups. Balls of rock, asteroids, gas giants, Kuiper belt objects and comets where the obvious groups. They compared Pluto to those groups and decided it should not be with the planets since it's not a ball of rock or gas giant. The choice was not simple or easy but they ignored pluto because it would have been very expensive to change the layout of the Planetarium later. He did not demote Pluto he was just right in predicting it would be demoted to prevent the sudden addition of many other Kuiper belt 'planets'. His wiki page tells the same basic story.

It's dumb to blame Tyson for correctly predicting it, and it's just as dumb to blame Mike Brown for finding a KBO larger then Pluto that caused it to be demoted. If you want to blame anything for this blame science for it's unstoppable desire to revise it self in order to make more sense. Stupid progress always mess up our childhoods, how many times do they expect me to go back and correct my finger paint drawings?

Re:Neil Tyson (5, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822591)

No! We must never forget that he was the man who demoted Pluto. I liked Pluto.

The year is A.D. MDXLV...

Johann Albrecht Widmannstetter: Dude, Nicolaus Copernicus was awesome.

Bartolomeo Spina: No! We must never forget that he was the man who demoted the Earth as the center of the Universe. I liked Earth as the center of the Universe!

Re:Neil Tyson (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826293)

One is an argument about terminology; the other is an argument about reality. They're not even remotely comparable.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38829397)

The way I see it, the first one is about the reality that defined the terminology. The terminology became obsolete when the reality as we knew it changed into something different.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38836049)

This is what passes for +5 Insightful? What has Neil Degrasse Tyson discovered that is on par with Copernicus? Really. He is a good science popularizer, but on the same level as Copernicus? That's insane.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38841685)

This is what passes for +5 Insightful? What has Neil Degrasse Tyson discovered that is on par with Copernicus? Really. He is a good science popularizer, but on the same level as Copernicus? That's insane.

This is not the issue of him having found anything (the people who should receive the credit for this are probably David Jewitt and Jane Luu), but rather an issue whether new discoveries should be allowed to cause a rethinking of old notions (and giving new names to old things). I think he was right in suggsting the reclassification. The notion of a planet that we had been using until the finding of new transneptunian objects should at least be put on hold until we discover more about how this whole stuff with things circling around stars works. Once we know more about the general process of planetary systems coming into existence, we should be in a much better position to give names to those things. It's kind of difficult to do statistics and classification with a set of N=1.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#38867337)

He may have been right. That does not make him Copernicus.
Copernicus' leap was *huge* compared to the leap involved in saying "Pluto is one of a bunch of objects in the outer solar system, not in the same category as the eight things now classified planets."
BTW, I agree with the astronomer who pointed out the "Star Trek definition" of a planet, i.e. the Enterprise goes into orbit around a body and it comes up on the screen and everyone can look at it and *see* that it is a planet. You never saw Spock scanning the rest of the star system to look for other debris to decide whether or not the object had "gravitationally cleared its surroundings" and was therefore worthy of being called a planet. You could just tell by looking at it.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822667)

What do you mean "liked"? Nothing about Pluto changed except our understanding of its place in the solar system. If the only thing you liked about it was that it was called a planet, then you're not much of a fan imo.

It's still awesome. I still like it. Despite 'just' being a large TNO, just like Ceres is a large asteroid.

Re:Neil Tyson (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822849)

More like Neil ThirtyYearsLate.
Back when I worked for a laser show company back in the late '80s to early '90s we hooked up a Tempest machine to the scanners once. Playing tempest on a 30 foot screen is amazing. Quite flickery because we had to slow down the scan rate a bit but awesome none the less. If we had brought the cabinet up to the Hayden (we did shows at the Hayden back then before they got all 'serious' and kicked us out) we could have done full dome Tempest. I bet you could sell single plays for five bucks with that rig.

Neil Tyson Dwarf Astronomer (4, Funny)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822897)

Awesome? There is a movement to get Neil DeGrasse Tyson downgraded from Astronomer to Dwarf Astronomer.

Re:Neil Tyson Dwarf Astronomer (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826635)

(1) An "astronomer" is a scientist that: (a) is in an astronomy department, (b) has sufficient publication output for his/her stature to overcome peer review so that he/she assumes an academic equilibrium, and (c) has completely filled the neighbourhood around his/her desk.

(2) A "dwarf astronomer" is a scientist that: (a) is in an astronomy department, (b) has sufficient publication output for his/her stature to overcome peer review so that he/she assumes an academic equilibrium, (c) has not completely filled the neighbourhood around his/her desk, and (d) is not a postdoc

(3) All other staff, except postdocs, in the astronomy department shall be referred to collectively as "Small Astronomy Department Bodies".

FFFFUUUUUUUU (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822079)

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

You too can do this (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822095)

Depending on your local planetarium, most rent out for $500 a night. You'd have to fiddle with the digital projector, and because most games aren't programmed assuming they'll be projected out onto a dome you'll have to deal with massive visual distortion, but you can pull this off too. For those of you that want to play at home, a digital projector and a 5-meter dome will run you about $25k.

Re:You too can do this (1)

ntd101 (2560947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822353)

Or just get one of these http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1439004669/toob-immersive-dome-display [kickstarter.com] . I've used one of these and it was very impressive, can highly recommend it if you enjoy gaming or even just watching movies. Was FAR superior to a flat screen of any size.

Re:You too can do this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822443)

When you say "you'd have to fiddle with the digital projector", you missed a plural, and oversimplified "fiddling" -- from TFA, it's a 6-projector array, with six computers each driving one projector. Since they said it's a 4500x4500 array, I assume each projector is at 2560x1600 or similar, with a few pixels overlap for 2250x1500 effective. I doubt most people, or even most serioius gamers, have a machine capable of chunking that many pixels around (at acceptable quality settings, on modern games), and even for a video card technically capable, there's a whole mess of complexity regarding DP vs. DL-DVI, etc. that's likely to require some new cables and adapters you don't have.

Still... sounds doable, though not easy; both challenging and fun, not ridiculously expensive... Might have to get the crew together and do it sometime.

Amusingly, some really old games (doom-era, not sure if DooM itself among them) used cylindrical projection, whereas all current games I'm aware of use planar projection -- the cylindrical projection is better, horizontally anyway, for planetarium display. Of course, with the recent affordability of multi-screen systems, it shouldn't be long till games start permitting spherical or multi-planar projections, to deal with monitors placed in an arc rather than a single plane, but I haven't seen any do it yet.

Re:You too can do this (1)

dotsandlines (2021270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825739)

There would also be some difficulty in getting each of the computers to run the same game engine simultaneously, taking in the same input and outputting its appropriate piece of the dome image, in real time and all synchronized. It's certainly possible, but I doubt with some unmodified, off-the-shelf game.

Re:You too can do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38833185)

Actually, a high end radeon can push those pixels just fine. My 5850 pushes 5760x1080 just fine if I turn shadows off in Skyrim at high quality. The 7970 recently released will do it in ultra. And you can crossfire them to handle over a dozen hidef screens at once.

It's pretty awesome actually, though I have yet to go to a 3 projector setup much less a dome :)

Re:You too can do this (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822653)

most games aren't programmed assuming they'll be projected out onto a dome

Theoretically, if the game at lesst allows for a very wide-angle camera, you should be able to project the viewport onto a significant portion of the sphere quite acceptably. (You'd lose some resolution in the corners, of course.)

Re:You too can do this (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38826641)

The best bet would be to take a PC and use console commands to set a very wide FOV. 180 degrees, I suppose, given the dome's shape.

Re:You too can do this (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38824477)

I've played one of my video games in an Imax dome [cac.es] . It's awesome...

This would be awesome with Eve Online (0)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822109)

Imagine one of their space battles. The trick would be individual stations monitors for each pilot but spectators and the strategists(callers) for the battles watching the large screen.

Re:This would be awesome with Eve Online (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822253)

You really don't need a monitor that large to play around with spreadsheets.

Re:This would be awesome with Eve Online (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822411)

no because then your playing eve online a truly terrible game

Re:This would be awesome with Eve Online (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823165)

X3:Terran Conflict would be even better.

Re:This would be awesome with Eve Online (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 2 years ago | (#38823645)

My 30" display is quite capable of drawing all the rows on the spreadsheet for modestly large battles in Eve online.

While a planetarium-sized Excel spreadsheet would be impressive, you'd probably have trouble reading all the important bits of text in it.

Quake (2)

tedgyz (515156) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822137)

How about quake 1/2/3/4? How cool would it be to have a 360 view?

Re:Quake (2)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822205)

I think Descent 3d would be better... I've played some with the planetarium here at work (dumping visualizations to a file and then playing on it... greatful dead, live recordings from archive.org) and it has some weird input - 30fps, must be 1024x1024, must be mpeg-1. And what we think of as the "middle" of the image (at 512,512) is actually top dead center on the dome... Gonna build a grid map (128x128 pixel chunks) project it and take some pix, get an idea as to where the focal point should really be

Re:Quake (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822599)

Nah. Space Invaders.

Alien target: the Earth. Only one shoot is enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822949)

Stolen the idea from the game Galaga.

JCPM

Darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822195)

Read this as "Hayden Panettiere" at first.

Alien target: the Earth. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822199)

We've an important question: "how to accomplish the fullfilment of the prophecy when the man/woman abandons the Earth?".

  1. 1. The "evil mission" rejects the "prophecy", it's violating the testaments written by ancient prophets many centuries ago.
  2. 2. Or the "prophecy" rejects the "evil mission" (with its impredictable mortal consequences).

Why to put we in risk our lives when few individuals wanted evilnessly to success their own "evil mission" for their own private interests?.

JCPM: i'm here because i was assigned no another place than here, on this planet named Earth.

Did anyone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822223)

initially scan the headline as "turning Hayden Panettiere into a Giant Videogame"?

I like the old ones (3, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822225)

The planetarium in Melbourne used to have a mechanical projector which rotated in the middle of the room to move the image across the ceiling. It was fantastic to watch and I used to drop in there just to watch the machinery. The new planetarium is just a big electronic projector and the stars aren't pinpoints anymore. They are out of focus spots. And now there is all sorts of stuff projected on to the ceiling, when what you are supposed to be looking at is the sky. They should just give up and build a normal cinema. Its not a planetarium any more.

Re:I like the old ones (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822427)

I hope it's not true that mechanical starfield projectors are being phased out for boring video projectors. When I heard about this a week or so ago, I imagined the game being run from such a mechanical device. Disappointed to find this is not the case. Not sure how that would actually work in retrospect, but it was an appealing notion. Making a game for a hemispherical projection would still be an interesting challenge.

Re:I like the old ones (4, Informative)

neBelcnU (663059) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822901)

While the clockwork versions may still exist in small school planetariums, the digital-mechanical hybrids are all long gone. You can thank Evans and Sutherland for demoing a version back in the early 80's, using a single, b&w tube projector through a Nikon 8mm (fisheye) camera lens. In spite of limitations that you'd all laugh at, it was instantly obvious that this was the future.

MichaelSmith is correct, the digital video projectors have yet to get close to the pinpoint-sharpness of the old electro-mechanical projectors, and those monsters were a delight to watch in motion. But having operated those old beasts (Spitz STS), the limitations far outweigh the benefits.

With the near-perfect rendition of consistent motion across the entire field of view, a modern digital video planetarium can utterly swamp the viewer's visual cortex: "sharpness" just doesn't matter when you can fly through Saturn's rings. I can say that I can't discern the "blurry dots" once the show gets rolling, I'm pretty comfy asserting that the average viewer's just drooling while their brains leak out of their ears. Having endorsed the modern, I'll confess to a desire to sit and watch the last STS (at Eastern Kentucky University) just quietly "roll" the sky, but that's nostalgia talkin'.

As for playing a game on a digital video dome? Innnnnteresting. I'm happy to tell you that as a witness to the history MichaelSmith elevates, get outta my way, I'm goin' to Dr. Tyson's place for game-night.

Re:I like the old ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823053)

Sptiz STS? N00b. The Spitz Model B at the Longway planetarium is still in operation. The Longway planetarium uses a geodesic structure and was tuned to be within 1/8 inch of a true hemisphere when built. There are adjustment screws behinds the dome screen. The Model B with the accurate hemisphere made for the best looking star field I have ever seen indoors.

Re:I like the old ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824297)

Konica minolta makes mechanical optical projectors still .They now use fiber optics to fix all the problems that the old ones had. The vanderbuilt planetarium is installing one The vanderbuilt site states an Konica Minolta Infinium V . The konica sites only shows an l or so so its either the l model or a new model that hasnt been shown yet.

Re:I like the old ones (2)

dotsandlines (2021270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825707)

My dome has a GOTO Chiron hybrid system + E&S Digistar 3, that communicate together to keep digital constellation figures and other graphics aligned with the mechanical star field. The Chiron has a reasonably small profile and doesn't get in the way like some of the old beasts did. Wouldn't trade it for anything.

Re:I like the old ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38827291)

To me watching the projector at the Hayden Planetarium when the show director/host/operator would 'fast froward' to another time was an important part of the show.
It was far more interesting to watch the projector's mechanical motions than the star's progression on the dome IMHO.

Re:I like the old ones (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822913)

Sadly it is true that the old, mechanical Zeiss projectors are going away. The redo of the Morrison Planetarium in Golden Gate Park replaced theirs with an all digital projection unit. It's very cool though, but in a different way.

Re:I like the old ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824233)

Actually I just did some research its a Konica Minolta Infinium V which shows the stars through fiber optics and lenses . It does all the spinning and everything the old ones do. The planetarium is also installing 3d projectors to go along side of it , new surround sound system and new lasers for its laser show. The planetarium states they should be one of the best equipped planetariums in the US when finished.

I am pretty sure its a new mechanical starfield projector that uses Fiber optics. This will be combined with the digital projectors.

Re:I like the old ones (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822469)

SO the point of a planetarium is to show off the of the planetarium mechanics?

So, what else did they have in your day? Did they have cars?

Re:I like the old ones (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822927)

The planetarium IS the machine in the middle. The place you watch shows is a domed theater.
The old E&S Digistar I & II series sucked for star fields. Dim and fizzy blobs instead of points of light. There is only so much that you can do with a CRT expanded to the whole dome. Ask operators how paranoid they were about burning the phosphor on the tube. Now they use augmented video projectors. Lame.
I'm waiting for someone to put 3mm or so RGB LEDs over the entire ceiling. I think that would solve the problem of domed theater displays forever.

Re:I like the old ones (1)

dotsandlines (2021270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825677)

You forgot about the color of the old Digistar stars, uniformly pale green. Digistar 3 is significantly better, but no substitute for a optomechanical star ball. About the best attempt at digital stars I've seen is in the newly renovated theater in Chicago, with 8K resolution, distributed over NINETEEN video projectors. Each requiring automated alignment, registration and color balance. The projectors also have an insane contrast ratio so that the stars are bright and the black in between is black (not washed-out grey)

Re:I like the old ones (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 2 years ago | (#38823817)

The new video projector makes it easy to project arbitary images on to the screen. This breaks the planetarium metaphor and makes the experience less immersive. Immersion was an important part of the experience planetarium experience for me. The only presentation I went to in the new planetarium included a normal video for about 50% of the show. That video could have been shown on a normal flat screen.

Re:I like the old ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38824057)

The planetarium by me is installing 3d video projectors along with the new star projector sso it should be cooler then the mechanical one that had before. Its the Vanderbuilt Planetarium on Long island.

Hayden does not exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822247)

It was destroyed several years ago.

I see gestures (2)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822273)

Gesture input that is....

Put a sheet of pepper's ghost horizontally and some cool things can come out of a large space like that.

Disambiguation for Bostonians (2)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822347)

The Hayden Planetarium mentioned in the article (which is in New York) is different than the Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston. They are, however, named for the same benefactor.

Re:Disambiguation for Bostonians (1)

oh-dark-thirty (1648133) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822547)

Hah, I live near Boston and got very excited when I read the headline...then got unexcited when I realized it was the 'other' one. Wonder if they could pull this off at the Mugar Omni Theater though...

huntall.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822387)

AT&T recently announced several new devices at CES 2012, and now more details have emerged on pricing and launch dates.

It's pronounced, "Plane-arium," damn it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822389)

Obligatory South Park reference. Somebody was going to do it...

Should be awesome (1)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822467)

...I've always wanted to interact with the credits of "3rd Rock From the Sun".

Cutting edge (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822537)

Will it be utilizing the cloud?

'Cause that's important, you know?

Re:Cutting edge (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822639)

No, this is a multimedia experience.

Re:Cutting edge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822809)

Does that mean Captain Picard says "synergize" instead of "energize?"

Re:Cutting edge (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823309)

So multiple clouds then.

Cloud cloud cloud, cloud, cloud cloud! Ha ha!

Hayden Panettiere (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822625)

I think that Ms. Panettiere would make an OUTSTANDING controller [gearfuse.com] for the Hayden Planetarium.

Alien target: the Earth. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38822631)

what kind of laser guns will be used them for killing supposely the aliens?

Can the Cathodic Ray Tubes project the realistic photos of the stars from the real skies? It will wonder you!.

The alien intelligence is superior to the human intelligence, so that any incident of that the human circumvent the abandon of the Earth for supposely colonozing another alien planets then the alien militaries will take their opportune belical actions.

Alien target: the Earth -> There's not GAME OVER, but GAME END (and there's not INSERT COIN for repeating this unrepeatable game).

We've an important question: "how to accomplish the fullfilment of the prophecy when the man/woman abandons the Earth?".

  1. 1. The "evil mission" rejects the "prophecy", it's violating the testaments written by ancient prophets many centuries ago.
  2. 2. Or the "prophecy" rejects the "evil mission" (with its impredictable mortal consequences).

Why to put we in risk our lives when few individuals wanted evilnessly to success their own "evil mission" for their own private interests?.

JCPM: i'm here because i was assigned no another place than here, on this planet named Earth.

Artemis (1)

TBedsaul (95979) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822731)

Sounds like a giant version of Artemis http://www.artemis.eochu.com/ [eochu.com] with all the fun parts taken out.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson is Like Slash (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822759)

That dude is everywhere!

I used to play video games at the planetarium (1, Funny)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822825)

...but then i took an arrow to the knee

If Hayden Panettiere were a video game ... (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822891)

... I'ld play her [google.com] all day and night.

Probably wouldn't be nearly as educational though.

Star Gate or Dr Who? (1)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 2 years ago | (#38822971)

The last sequence in the video looked like traveling through a wormhole, like the special effects on Stargate SG1 or Dr. Who.

One night only, in New York City. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38823121)

Gosh, that's accessible.

Did this in the 80s, believe it or not (1)

RedMage (136286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38823419)

Richmond Science Museum, on the E&S DigiStar projector - we could play a space-war variant on the dome. No color, of course, but the resolution was pretty good if my memory serves me right. Plus the dials of the control panel were just about perfect for controls.

Missed opportunity (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 2 years ago | (#38823605)

They should have gotten this thing to play the most killer implementation of Tempest in the galaxy.

Badass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38823673)

Watch out, we may be dealing with a badass over here!

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Meme (1)

yanom (2512780) | about 2 years ago | (#38823843)

Watch out guys, we're dealing with a badass over here!

any more info on the hardware? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 years ago | (#38823855)

How much cpu power does each PC have? Dual or more video cards in crossfire or SLI? How each PC linked to each other GIG-E? faster?

What kind FPS do you get on that?

I miss the old planetarium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825289)

Gotta rant here. Some of my most memorable experiences were at the California Academy of Sciences planetarium. It was cool and made astronomy fun -- I can totally see why such shows inspired Tyson. The show was different every time so you always got something new.

Today at the new Academy of Sciences, the planetarium doesn't exist. It's just a movie on an IMAX projector. You could get the same effect in any theater, or at home, and it has nothing to do with a regular planetarium show. The content is identical, despite some claims the material is updated as new findings are made, it really hasn't changed much.

So in a urge to go high-tech and make it more accessible and hip and whatnot, they've stripped it of the very thing that made it cool. Kids seeing the new planetarium are bored -- they often tell their parents they were glad the 'movie' was over when the lights went up. Ah well.

Re:I miss the old planetarium (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38825477)

I used to go to the old California Academy of Sciences once or twice a year. It was just a fantastic, mysterious place to go. Then they tore it down and put up this bug-eyed monstrosity aimed straight at the 6-8 y/o demographic and their parents money.

The clincher was the fact that the new facility has so much less room for the permanent collection that my favorite, the rocks and mineral collection, is sequestered in storage will probably never be shown in it's entirety again.

Fuck them. I'm never going back.

Mapping a Dome (4, Informative)

malkuth23 (451489) | more than 2 years ago | (#38825845)

There are 2 ways that modern projector based planetariums work. The easy way is with one projector and a fish eye lens. The lenses tend to run about 100k and the single projector will have to be very bright because of how spread out it will be. The hard (but arguably better) way is by mapping multiple projectors together. This will allow for a much brighter image because the brightest projectors available today are about 40k lumens. 8 20k projectors are obviously much brighter.

It takes quite a bit of work to map a dome like this. I spent close to 48 hours straight mapping a 90' dome for a party for Putin and I am considered very fast in the industry. Basically you project a grid and twist the points till the line up correctly allowing for about 20% overlap of the projections. You can use a modeler like Gmax or custom warping programs that most professional media servers have these days... We use Coolux - Pandoras Box.

Ideally all the warping was already done for these guys and all they had to do was plug their system into a live input card (capture card) and route their systems through the media servers at the planetarium. More likely they had to re-map it. They did an ok job, but you can definitely see distortion as the image moves between projectors. The bigger problem they are having is with sync. This is always a really difficult issue between multiple systems and one of the main reasons to use a quality media server. You can clearly see the computers are wildly out of sync at the end of the video. Even 1-2 frames of sync loss will be clearly evident in a projector blend.

Either way, the project is really cool. If anyone is interested there is a free open source media server out there capable of mapping domes and other 3d objects called vvvv (although it is a bitch compared to the commercial solutions). Pure Data is also worth looking at. It is an open source alternative to Max Msp which does related interactive video things.

Re:Mapping a Dome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38849113)

Hi malkuth23, Do you live anywhere near NY? It would be fun to talk a little, if only to solicit any guidance towards any followup version of this game, which I believe we are likely to try again. Thank you! -> meow@babycastles.com

Are there videogames... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38826971)

... in Uranus??

(sorry, couldn't resist)

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