At Sky-Skan we have strict guidelines about the use of antivirus software on our systems, but the idling of many planetariums offers our clients a unique opportunity to contribute their unused DigitalSky computing power to the cause of the day, a use we enthusiastically endorse.
Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, a leading astronomy research center,
has completed an upgrade of their Arne Slettebak Planetarium to Sky-Skan’s DigitalSky-Dark
Matter™ platform. Equipped with new servers and the latest Nvidia graphics,
the 9-meter facility is now a perfect venue for teaching basic astronomy and
for displaying, studying, and interpreting unique astronomical data collected
by OSU researchers.
Planetariums have been used for decades to teach motions of the sky, constellations, Moon phases, and planetary motions. These new tools, added to the planetarium’s existing video projectors, support such traditional functions plus far-reaching teaching goals in modern astrophysics.
installation in February 2020, Sky-Skan performed five days of training for
students, faculty, and staff, introducing them to both traditional planetarium tools
and to the ability to incorporate their own data sets. The upgraded planetarium
can help undergraduates and graduates learn new ways of viewing astronomical
data, in addition to running popular fulldome shows. All visualization modes
and subjects can be seamlessly orchestrated without having to switch display
modes or apps.
OSU astronomers have wide-ranging research engagements, such
The KELT survey for extrasolar planets
The ASSASN all-sky supernova search project (whose
leaders recently won the American Astronomical Society’s Beatrice M. Tinsley
and Heineman Prizes)
Star formation and interstellar chemistry
tracing the chemical
make-up of stars across our Milky Way Galaxy and beyond
Active Galactic Nuclei
Gamma Ray Bursts
Coming soon, data from the National Science Foundation’s new
Vera C. Rubin Observatory (formerly the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope), which
is operated by a university consortium of which OSU is a founding member, will
allow new forays into dynamical display of events occurring each night – such
as hundreds of Type 1a supernovae exploding in distant galaxies, new
discoveries in the Kuiper Belt, and new exoplanetary systems. The advanced
dynamical engine of DigitalSky-Dark Matter is built to handle the forthcoming data
With this upgrade, OSU joins a growing retinue of university
planetariums using Sky-Skan’s advanced tools, from Pomona College in
California, the Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Youngstown
State University, also in Ohio. Universities with research faculty using the
same system allows for collaborations and shared show development.
The 63-seat Slettebak Planetarium has been offering educational programs on the night sky to OSU students and the central Ohio community since 1967. It is now poised for a new life opening windows on the universe for thousands of students.