The Known Universe: Carter Emmart and the American Museum of Natural History’s “Digital Universe Atlas”

I first met Carter Emmart, Director of Astrovisualization at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History at NextNow Collab project ISDE5, where Carter presented the Uniview, powerfully demonstrating how it could be used within the Digital Earth community.  (Carter was also at ISDE6 in Beijing, presenting “The Global Eye:  Simultaneous Earth system“).  About the Uniview, from their site:

Uniview is a computer graphics platform bringing information data- bases to life in a 3D environment much like an immersive computer game.  Loaded with scientific content, Uniview brings your audience to the science and makes your stories truly meaningful and engaging. While completely interactive, Uniview is powered with technologies that make sure every presentation is smooth, intuitive and engaging to the audience.  As the leading platform on the planet in recent years, Uniview has been developed by industry leaders from museums, science centers and academia. Experiencing the size of the universe in the same context as familiar sites is an enthralling and immersive experience.

This is Carter and team’s latest (Dec. 2009):  “What would it look like to travel across the known universe? To help humanity visualize this, the American Museum of Natural History has produced a modern movie featuring many visual highlights of such a trip. The video starts in Earth’s Himalayan Mountains and then dramatically zooms out, showing the orbits of Earth’s satellites, the Sun, the Solar System, the extent of humanities first radio signals, the Milky Way Galaxy, galaxies nearby, distant galaxies, and quasars. As the distant surface of the microwave background is finally reached, radiation is depicted that was emitted billions of light years away and less than one million years after the Big Bang. Frequently using the Digital Universe Atlas, every object in the video has been rendered to scale given the best scientific research in 2009, when the video was produced. The film has similarities to the famous Powers of Ten video that has been a favorite of many space enthusiasts for a generation.”–Astronomy Picture of the Day

Thank you, Carter Emmart, and also Joseph Giove, for raising awareness.