The Fulldome Curriculum for the Spitz SciDome Digital Planetarium: A new Age for Planetarium Education
Astronomy education received a huge boost from the Space Program in the 1960's and early 1970's as evidenced by a large increase in school planetariums built nationwide at that time. But with the waning of manned explorations so also went the push for astronomy in the schools, and many school planetariums are underutilized or not used at all.
This poster will discuss and illustrate some of the new Fulldome Curriculum that has been developed specifically for the Spitz SciDome digital planetarium powered by Starry Night. It is now possible to teach astronomical concepts in new and exciting ways and present topics that were extremely difficult to convey to lay audiences in the past. One of the strongest advantages of the SciDome is that, since it uses Starry Night as its astronomical engine, students can create their own astronomical configurations in the computer lab or at home using the PC or Mac version and then simply load them onto the SciDome planetarium system and display them for the class on the dome. Additionally, the instructor can create artificial bodies to pose "What if” scenarios, for example, "What would the Moon look like if it didn't rotate synchronously?", or "What would the analemma look like if the Earth's orbit were circular and not an ellipse?"
Topics covered in the series include The Moon, Seasons, Coordinate Systems, Roemer's Method of Measuring the Speed of Light, Analemmas in the Solar System, Precession, Mimas and the Cassini Division, Halley's Comet in 1910, Dog Days, Galactic Distributions of Celestial Bodies, Retrograde Paths of Mars, Mercury's Orbit and the Length of the Mercurian Day, Altitude of the North Celestial Pole, Why Polaris Appears Mostly Stationary, Circumpolar Contellations, Planet Definition, Scale of the Solar System, Stonehenge, The Changing Aspect of Saturn's Appearance and Scorpio's Claws.
Bradstreet, D. H., & Huggins, S. L. (2010). The Fulldome Curriculum for the Spitz SciDome Digital Planetarium: A New Age for Planetarium Education. Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 25, 414
Type of Publication
Bradstreet, David H. | Huggins, Scott L.
Eastern University | Spitz, Inc.
American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting 215
Conference Proceeding Type
Nation(s) of Study
United States of America
3-7 Jan 2010