The hemispheric theaters (domes) of the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan are incredible tools both for the popularization of science aimed at the public and for research between scientists. The mission of the science data visualization research team is to increase the potential for science communication and narrative in planetariums.
Astronomy is a dynamic discipline, as evidenced by press releases, images, videos and data published daily. Today, however, this stream of engaging new content is generally not integrated into planetariums. Rather than introducing the latest scientific data into the dome a few hours or even a few minutes after its publication, new data is usually presented days or even weeks after, and often never, as there are many obstacles. This way, the planetarium - generally seen as the local center for education in astronomy - lags behind blogs, newspapers, television and other media. The Data2Dome (D2D) project aims to streamline the flow of content from research institutes to planetariums, providing the public with a unique opportunity to access the latest space data almost in real time.
The Data2Dome research group aims to:
- help planetariums to present large data streams coming from telescopes, satellites, experiments and computer simulations of next generations of technologies;
- create professional development opportunities focused at developing more data experts in the era of artificial intelligence and “Bigdata”;
- develop and promote best practices for visualizing data in domes;
- connect the planetarium's data providers and end users by defining and recommending standards for the distribution of scientific content in real or near real time : images, videos, tabular data, etc .;
- encourage the visualization of a wide range of scientific data in the dome (beyond astronomy);
- recommend the inclusion of dome visualization tools in standard scientific analysis and visualization software packages;
- encourage planetariums to make their facilities available to researchers in their communities in order to use them as a visualization tool.
The Data2dome research team at the Planétarium
- Olivier Hernandez, Ph.D., Director, Astrophysicist
- Patrick Geoffroy, Technician
- Jonathan Gagné, Scientific Adviser
- Marc Jobin, M.Sc., Astronomer