IDEAS: Immersive Dome Experiences for Accelerating Science [article]

Jacqueline K. Faherty
2020 arXiv   pre-print
Astrophysics lies at the crossroads of big datasets (such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Gaia), open source software to visualize and interpret high dimensional datasets (such as Glue, WorldWide Telescope, and OpenSpace), and uniquely skilled software engineers who bridge data science and research fields. At the same time, more than 4,000 planetariums across the globe immerse millions of visitors in scientific data. We have identified the potential for critical synergy across data,
more » ... oftware, hardware, locations, and content that -- if prioritized over the next decade -- will drive discovery in astronomical research. Planetariums can and should be used for the advancement of scientific research. Current facilities such as the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Morrison Planetarium in San Francisco, the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome Research Consortium in Cape Town, and Visualization Center C in Norrkoping are already developing software which ingests catalogs of astronomical and multi-disciplinary data critical for exploration research primarily for the purpose of creating scientific storylines for the general public. We propose a transformative model whereby scientists become the audience and explorers in planetariums, utilizing software for their own investigative purposes. In this manner, research benefits from the authentic and unique experience of data immersion contained in an environment bathed in context and equipped for collaboration. Consequently, in this white paper we argue that over the next decade the research astronomy community should partner with planetariums to create visualization-based research opportunities for the field. Realizing this vision will require new investments in software and human capital.
arXiv:1907.05383v2 fatcat:aebyn4s5abbotdwlzj3773ev5i