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Astronomy 2009 in Second Life

By civile - Posted on 07 March 2009

Astronomy 2009 Celebration in Second LifeIf you’ve been sleeping all day in order to star gaze all night, you might have missed the fact that this year has been designated the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IVA 2009) by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO. IYA 2009 is a global celebration of astronomy coinciding with the 400-year anniversary of Galileo Galilei’s first use of a telescope as an astronomical instrument.

The PG-rated sim “Astronomy 2009” has been built to showcase a few of the many activities taking place around the world to celebrate the science of astronomy. Only in a virtual reality can so many “out of this world” subjects be appropriately displayed and appreciated.

Visitors to Astronomy 2009 enter in the center of the sim, so when arriving, zoom back or look at your map,. You will find that you are in the center of a spiral galaxy. The galaxy has two arms which are paths to follow to view exhibits related to two themes.

The east path is themed “From Earth to the Universe” or FETTU. The displays along this path show a collection of fantastic astronomical images that have been brought together as a collection to be exhibited in various locations throughout the real world.

The west path is themed “The World at Night” and features 20 photographers and an image they have each taken relating to astronomy. One photo by Wally Pacholka was taken from a cave called False Kiva in eastern Utah, U.S. This photo is a “must see” combination of the beauty of space and time.

Beyond the paths, or outside of this galaxy, are additional exhibits including a build of Lord Rosse's monster telescope and a Nightwise Street demonstration of proper outdoor lighting. Throw in the mandatory multilevel planetarium and a museum of artist's renditions of space, and you have a very entertaining sim built for the astronomer in all of us.


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