Science on the Half Sphere is an initiative to both develop and to distribute materials that will be useful for fulldome media, which is being used more often at planetaria worldwide. SotHS is a collaboration between faculty, staff and students at the Ward Beecher Planetarium (at Youngstown State University) and CosmoQuest. The goals of SotHS include providing free fulldome (images taken through a 180 degree fisheye lens, or images that have been appropriately ‘warped’ in a similar way) content that can be used by other planetaria with fulldome media systems. The initial products of this collaboration are the production of a 22 minute full dome show (called Cosmic Castaways) and the taking of full-dome images of telescopes at Mauna Kea (including the Gemini North Telescope — see below); it is our hope that both of these will be useful to many people! Both of these projects are the products of NSF grants to Dr. John Feldmeier (at YSU) and myself.
Please check the multimedia links at the right for all of these materials, or the links below. We certainly had fun making this material, and we certainly want people to be completely immersed! Telescopes are our window to the universe, and it is difficult at times to fully appreciate just how large these major observatories are. I like projecting a full dome image of the Gemini Observatory on our planetarium dome at the beginning of my lesson on telescopes.
The plan, of course, is to not stop with these images. We intend to continue to take new fulldome images and produce new fulldome shows that will be of interest to everyone! So please check back again..you never know what will be here next (curiously enough, neither do we! Such is the fun of discovery…)
Pat Durrell, on behalf of members of the SotHS team (John Feldmeier, Pamela Gay, Curt Spivey and Annie Wilson)