April 26, 2017

Finally! Super Power of Space Exploration from Home

Terapixel gives you the ability to take a virtual tour of the cosmos
from your living room.

Dr. Brian McLean
Observatory Scientist, Space Telescope Science Institute

YouthMUSE welcomes a new Guest Blogger  – Mark Siegel – Delphian School

Mark Siegel is the Assistant Headmaster at Delphian School in Sheridan, Oregon. He was recently appointed by Oregon’s Governor and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to serve on the New Oregon Diploma Implementation Advisory Task Force.

Mark reports in a recent blog:

“Science News – Explore The Cosmos From Home Via Terapixal

 “Microsoft and NASA have teamed up to create what they say is the largest seamless, spherical map ever made of the night sky, as well as a true-color, high-resolution map of Mars that users can explore on their computers in 3D.”

Isn’t this great! Not only will this inspire students in science, we can all learn from students. The article said that, “[i]n studying photos of Mars taken by a NASA spacecraft, a group of seventh graders in California earlier this year discovered a previously unknown cave, as well as lava tubes that NASA scientists hadn’t noticed.”

 I love it! Students creating useful knowledge for others.

In case you don’t know the importance of lava tubes, according to the June issue of The Planetary Report, missions to Mars are considering using caves as human habitats to protect explorers from dangerous radiation and temperature extremes, and makes it easier to manage air filtration (because of the health dangers of Martian dust).

“Called Terapixel, the night sky project is now available for viewing with Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope, a free, web-based program that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from ground and space-based telescopes to enable seamless, guided explorations of the universe…[i]t enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, blending terabytes of images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the internet into an immersive experience.”

I can’t think of a more exciting way to interest students in astronomy and astrophysics than using Terepixel. “

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