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Alien Planetarium

seeing space from another perspective
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
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We are used to seeing the heavens from one viewpoint, the earth. Beyond some pictures sent from solar system travelers, we haven’t seen what others might see in distant cosmic places. Using known distances to celestial bodies, a planetarium or internet site could display space observed from the other side.

From the far end of the Milky Way, dust clouds lit by embedded stars, seen from a new direction, would assume new forms. Farther away, our galaxy could be displayed and compared with others. From another part of the universe, our constellations would vanish, but new ones would be discerned.

Somewhere among the billions of stars, surely some being can view six bright stars that seem to build an exact hexagon. Somewhere else an alien’s telescope can magnify a molecular cloud complex assuming the image of a perfectly detailed Buddha.

FarmerJohn, Dec 03 2004

Extrasolar skies http://www.extrasolar.net/starmap.asp
This does something like your idea [nineteenthly, Dec 03 2004]

Celestia http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
Beyond any doubt, the best piece of software I've ever used. [Detly, Dec 03 2004]

Earth View From Mars http://news.nationa...0522_earthmars.html
[theircompetitor, Dec 03 2004]

[link]






       Carl Sagan was interested in this idea. He came up with a star map of the sky seen from Tau Ceti and named a constellation in it as the Six-Legged Unicorn, which had our sun in its tail. Neat idea. It would be difficult to go too far from the Sun though, as a lot of stars would be too faint even to be seen from the HST or hidden by dust clouds. The best you could do would be to make these projections in a region where it was unlikely there were any stars bright enough to mess up the appearance of the sky, or just concentrate on nebulae or other things whose locations and shapes were fairly certain.
nineteenthly, Dec 03 2004
  

       I love the concept that any image will be written in the stars from somewhere.
wagster, Dec 03 2004
  

       You could perhaps even come up with a pointalism constelation near the center of any galaxy. +
sartep, Dec 03 2004
  

       There is a free program called Celestia (see link) that allows you to zoom around the galaxy and look at all the pretty stars. It's brilliant.
Detly, Dec 03 2004
  

       Celestia is indeed a deeply cool program. Actually, it might improve the popularity of planetaria if they had a Star Trek or Doctor Who type session where real stars mentioned in the series were used as a basis for showing night skies from different planets, such as Vulcan, perhaps with a projected horizon based on the fictional planet. Maybe they could be sponsored by Paramount or whatever.
nineteenthly, Dec 03 2004
  
      
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