GLPA Conference Proceedings: 2008

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2008 Proceedings PDF:
 
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Invited Talks

GREEK MYTHS IN THE STARS
Dr. Jean Creighton
Abstract: I describe how I got interested in myths and stars from a young age. I spin the tale of the royal family: Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Andromeda with the stories surrounding the hero Perseus and the monster Medusa of Greek mythology in the fall sky. I am particularly fond of these stories since I grew up in Greece.

LISTENING FOR BLACK HOLES
Dr. Jolien Creighton
Abstract: Gravitational wave observations will provide a new vantage point for looking at the Universe, one that is complementary to the views we get from electromagnetic radiation. We will be able to glean images of that which is currently invisible or veiled such as colliding black holes, the cores of exploding stars, and the Universe at times before the first light.

THE PLANETARIUM OF MY REMEMBRANCE— A PERSONAL ACCOUNT
2008 Armand N. Spitz Lecture
Daniel R. Francetic
Abstract: This is a reflection of one individual’s adventure with astronomy and with the planetarium. It began for him as a young child and will never end. It seems like magic.

ASTRONOMY UPDATE 2008
James B. Kaler
Abstract: The year presented us more with numerous small things rather than blockbuster events. There were exceptions of course, notably the Phoenix landing on Mars and the Mercury flybys. Highlights include the continuing Hubble saga, no or few spots on the Sun, the centenary of the Tunguska impact, the inscrutable Comet Holmes, the discovery of numerous superearths, a number of confusing anomalies, and quite a lot on supergiants and supernovae.

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE DARK: EXPLORING THE INVISIBLE UNIVERSE WITH THE SPITZER SPACE TELESCOPE
Michelle Thaller
Abstract: Have you ever wondered how a night vision camera can see you, even in complete darkness? The answer is that there are many kinds of light that are invisible to human eyes: literally, colors we can’t see. So what does the rest of the universe look like in these invisible kinds of light? The answer will surprise you. Come see how astronomers using the new Spitzer Space Telescope are beginning to explore this invisible universe, and what we’re finding out there lurking in the depths of space. Using our newly improved “eyes,” we’re finding baby stars and new solar systems, monstrous black holes that have swallowed billions of stars, and the most distant objects in space we’ve ever seen. Using heat vision, Spitzer has even been able to make crude weather maps of giant Jupiter-like planets orbiting distant stars. It’s a whole new universe out there—so come along to see what’s hiding in the dark!

 

Contributed Papers

USING THE PLANETARIUM TO TEACH CHEMISTRY LESSONS
Susan C. Batson
Abstract: The planetarium is an excellent resource for the teaching of spectroscopy and spectral absorption and emission. Chemistry teachers might be surprised at how much they can teach with these simple demonstrations and examples.

GALILEO—THE POWER OF THE TELESCOPE
A NEW PLANETARIUM SHOW
Robert Bonadurer
Abstract: The Daniel M. Soref Planetarium at the Milwaukee Public Museum is developing a distinctive planetarium show simply called Galileo. This program will tell the tale of the telescope through the eyes of Galileo Galilei and today’s astronomers. It will be completed in June 2009. The impetus of the show is IYA and the 400th year anniversary of the telescope. The show's focus will be on the story of Galileo personally—and how his telescope started the path to today's powerful telescopes that peer deep into the cosmos. This show will feature hypothetical conversations between present day astronomers and Galileo. Educationally, Galileo will reveal the basics on how telescopes work. How they collect and focus light. It will also teach other forms of “light” by introducing the electromagnetic spectrum. Throughout the show Galileo will connect audiences to the human spirit involved in exploration and discovery.

WHAT ARE AUDIENCES TELLING US?
Jean Creighton
Abstract: I will present and discuss audience feedback during nine shows in Spring 2008 at the Manfred Olson Planetarium. I use audiences’ self-reports regarding concepts they grasped or with which they struggled.

LONG DISTANCE COLLABORATION TOOLS FOR SHOW PRODUCTION
Jason Heaton
Abstract: This program will present the tools and techniques that are being used in a collaborative full dome show between production artists living in different states. Technical hurdles to be discussed include maintaining the same platform for production, finding online space for tests and storage, and the methods for conferencing online.

LIVE FROM THE PLANETARIUM
Geoff Holt
Abstract: The title of this project is "Live from the Planetarium: Effective Presentation Skills". Aimed at helping planetarians improve their live presentation skills, this project will produce a collection of video clips which will be helpful for the beginner and seasoned presenter alike. This paper will provide an update on what we've accomplished so far, and explain how you can contribute.

THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND PLANETARIUM
Francine Jackson
Abstract: The past, present, and future of the URI Planetarium.

BUILDING YOUR OWN BOURKEAN DOME PROJECTION SYSTEM 1.0
Chris Janssen
Abstract: Is it possible to build your own mirror system based on Paul Bourke’s inspiration? I’ll share how I did it, lessons I learned, and how much I spent.

LET THERE BE NIGHT
Art Klinger
Abstract: "Let There Be Night" is a DVD project that encompasses the ever-encroaching issues of light pollution. We now know the value of the night extends well beyond the visual spectacle. Light pollution is an emerging environmental concern, for it affects the wellbeing of humans, animal habitats, and natural resources. This project not only asks the questions, it demonstrates the solutions of this ever-growing problem.

ASTRONOMY CONVERSATIONS & GUIDED TOURS OF THE UNIVERSE: A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO & ADLER PLANETARIUM
Randall H. Landsberg
Abstract: This program brings research scientists and their data into a format and setting where the public can share in the excitement of discovery. Learn how Chicago researchers are using multimedia technology (e.g., 3D displays and ultra high-resolution tile displays) at the Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum’s Space Visualization Lab (SVL) to interactively explore forefront research with small groups, and how this might be extended to your home institution.

EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE WITH WORLDWIDE TELESCOPE & GOOGLE SKY
Randall H. Landsberg
Abstract: New, visually rich, astronomical software environments coupled with large web-accessible data sets hold the promise of new and exciting ways to teach, collaborate, and explore the universe. We will examine the capabilities of Google Sky and WorldWide Telescope, and discuss the recent KICP workshop that brought together researchers, educators (formal and informal), and the creators of these emerging, holistic visual astronomy software environments.

WHAT’S NEW WITH THE GLPA IMAGE BANK
David Leake
Abstract: Quite a bit has happened to the old GLPA Slide Bank since Mitch Luman handed the reins to me in 2002. The emphasis has gone from duplicating slides to show kit sales. Though the files full of slides no longer grace our meetings, the image bank is still alive and well, plus new shows and show updates are now available to GLPA members. This talk will highlight a few gems from the image bank plus update the membership on what materials are available.

MY MILWAUKEE
Matthew Mascheri
Abstract: The Milwaukee Public Museum's objective was to showcase their hometown on the planetarium dome through a new fulldome short entitled My Milwaukee. This paper describes the production process and how they achieved their goal using fulldome time lapse photography.

USING POWERPOINT PRESENTER TO DISPLAY HI-DEF VIDEO
John J. Potts
Abstract: This paper outlines the procedure we used to integrate high definition (Hi-Def) video into the SPICE automation system in the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium. This includes the steps to install a new playback personal computer (playback PC) in the automation system, and covers the new commands in SPICE programming that are unique to PowerPoint Presenter.

USING DATA FROM THE LUNAR RECONNAISSANCE ORBITER IN PLANETARIA AND MUSEUMS
Doug Roberts
Bernhard Beck-Winchatz
Abstract: The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) is the first mission in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration, a plan to return to the Moon and then to travel to Mars and beyond. LRO will launch in early 2009. The payload is composed of six instruments and one technology demonstration. One of the instruments, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) will return images of the lunar surface in unprecedented detail—a single image of the high resolution Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) contains 250 million pixels, each pixel representing 50 cm on the surface. The education and public outreach team for LROC, which includes two GLPA members, is working to create software tools to provide highly interactive experiences for the public to explore LROC data in planetaria and museums. We are designing display systems built on low-cost commodity hardware to drive domes as well as large scalable tiled display systems. These will be built at the Adler Planetarium and the hardware design for these systems and software will be made available to the planetarium community. We are also planning to solicit input from the GLPA community on how to create and adapt LROC-based educational materials that meet the needs of small and medium planetariums. We will present these plans in this paper to show how LRO data can be used in planetaria and museums worldwide.

FIVE CENTURIES OF DECENTRALIZATION
Dale W. Smith
Abstract: We have all described the progressive decentralization of the Earth in the steps from Ptolemy’s geocentric model to the modern universe. I will describe this spatial decentralization, including both familiar and some unfamiliar steps. I will also describe several other forms of uncentering ourselves, including geographic, biological, spectral, and material decentralization.

THE FUTURE OF ASTRONOMY DAY
Gary Tomlinson
Abstract: Astronomy Day started in 1973. It has grown each year becoming an international event. Now we are seeking the future of Astronomy Day with your help.BUILDING

THE FIRST PUBLIC PLANETARIUM IN WEST AFRICA
David Weinrich
Abstract: A cooperative project by planetarians in Louisiana, Florida and Minnesota has brought Dr. Jacob Ashong’s dream of a public planetarium in Ghana to fruition. While the Mediaglobe projector and astronomical expertise have been donated by U.S. planetarians, there has been active involvement of personnel and resources by Ghanaians. It is hoped that this pilot project will lead to future astronomical outreach to other developing countries.

IYA ACTIVITES AT FERNBANK
April S. Whitt
Abstract: Here are some of the activities Fernbank Science Center is offering for next year’s celebration. You’re welcome to adapt these ideas to fit your dome as well: planetarium programs, StarLab classes for schools, and exhibits.

 

Posters

HARRY POTTER CAMP YEAR TWO
Cheri Adams
Abstract: This was the second year Harry Potter Camp was offered at the Boonshoft. The planetarium was transformed daily into the Great Hall for the campers arrival and departure as well as for their astronomy classes.

CREATING A STATE RESOURCE GUIDE FOR IYA 2009
Garry F. Beckstrom
Michael J. Narlock
Abstract: To the general public, planetaria, universities, museums, and amateur astronomy clubs are mutually independent organizations catering to a specific demographic. Among other things, IYA 2009 will hopefully aid in the breaking down of these confining distinctions to create a more user-friendly astronomy experience. In Michigan, an effort has been undertaken to weave together a cohesive platform to promote astronomy experiences and resources in general, not venues in particular.

DOES YOUR RÉSUMÉ SHINE AS MUCH AS IT COULD? WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Janet L. Beckstrom
Abstract: Your résumé must effectively present your qualifications in a way that makes you shine. No longer a dry chronological list of responsibilities, the résumé is a marketing document that communicates your value and potential. In addition to being an overview of your employment history and education, it should present your accomplishments and differentiate you from others. In addition, the résumé should be presented in a design that’s easy for the reader to scan and extract information—and may not be the format you’ve been using since you got out of college! But, you might ask, why should you keep your résumé up to date if you are not looking for a job? There are various situations where you may need it and not even realize it. This poster will present sample résumés of planetarians and educators, as well as provide tips and ideas you can use to build or improve your own résumé so it is ready when you need it. After all, if you don’t promote yourself, who will?

I.P.S. UPDATE
Dave Weinrich
Abstract: The IPS Council met at the IPS Conference at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. This poster addresses these meetings and important announcements and news for the IPS community.

 

Workshops

PLANETARIUM STANDARDS-BASED PROGRAM ACTIVITIES FOR FIRST AND SECOND GRADES
Jeanne E. Bishop
Abstract: Programs for first grade students include “The Day Sky and the Night Sky” and “Seasons and Life.” The second grade programs are “Watching the Stars” and “Moon Phases.” Planetarians have similar programs, so I will share my special techniques.

ADOBE PHOTOSHOP FOR PLANETARIANS
Alan Davenport
Abstract: As media technology has carried planetarians from analog to digital, programs like Adobe Photoshop are tools that work for us in both realms. Participants will try some of the basic and some of the less well-known tricks that Photoshop has for preparing images, slides, and masks to use in dome productions including automated processes that shrink the preparation time for image sets. Some of the features shown may also apply to free software packages like GIMP. This is an intermediate level workshop but beginners with computer experience will be welcome. Bring your own digital images, questions, and problems of particular concern for experimenting. With registration, please indicate your past image processing and software experience.

DARK SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE: DARK MATTER & DARK ENERGY
Dan Hooper
Randy Landsberg
Abstract: Modern observations have taught us that the vast majority (about 96%) of our universe’s mass and energy, instead of consisting of atoms or molecules, is made up of invisible and exotic substances known as dark matter and dark energy. Together, we will discuss and explore what we know about these mysterious substances, talk about some of the methods scientists are using in an effort to better understand their natures, and learn how you can help your audiences explore the dark side of the cosmos.