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> No dome left behind, Gathering data
slshanks
post Oct 5 2017, 07:03 PM
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Hi All -
Gary Likert and Ron Walker will recognize my name as being the editor of Planetarian, the journal of the International Planetarium Society.

I am presenting a paper at the Pleiades Conference next week titled "No Dome Left Behind." Abstract:

Technology has improved life for many of us, but it has made life difficult for others. They are the traditional domes that cannot afford or deliberately decide not to adopt fulldome. What can the planetarium community do to make sure every dome makes the best use of the tools that it has? At the same time, what can we do to keep good planetarium tools out of landfills? And, connected with this, we need to reach out to the reclusive planetarians who do not know about-or who think they don't need-the assistance that the affiliates here at the Pleiades Conference can provide them. This is both a short paper and an introduction to a larger effort to gather the minds and ideas of the planetarium community.

I've also attached the preliminary paper, which I will update after the conference.

What Gary and Ron may not know is that I am passionate about planetariums (and education under the dome) - my philosophy resembles that of Horton (he who heard a Who) - that a planetarium is a planetarium, no matter how small.

What can we - as paid (or formerly paid, in my case) planetarians, do to support the people who pursue their passions as a hobby, or just to scratch a planetarium itch?

You can answer here, or send me an email at sharon.shanks@gmail.com. I will share the results of my paper with this group as well.

Thanks!!

Sharon

Well met indeed!

I think that we who build, assemble, and try to run (it aint easy, I'm on my 332nd configuration and its been 5 years since my last show, but theyre coming) legacy type analoggy planetariums can see how vinyl records are sortof coming back. They of course will never be on top again, neither will CDs for that matter, but there is a spark that can be fanned into a small but enduring flame. I've rebuilt my vinyl collection to heights it never achieved when I was getting them at EJ Korvettes! There are people in and out here who fan that flame, tiny as it may seem at times. I'm of course animated by Richard Emmons and those others like Steve Smith who were doing this long before we were. But EVERYTHING is a niche now. A niche is where its at. And we've got a wonderful one!

I'll study your paper, looks fantastic

Hi Sharon and welcome to OCP! Good to have you here.

Heres the body of my email to Sharon
-------------------------------------------
You asked, What can we - as paid (or formerly paid, in my case) planetarians, do to support the people who pursue their passions as a hobby, or just to scratch a planetarium itch?

Its a hard question, because I know how I'd feel if something I did as a job for 8 hours fascinated someone as a hobby at home - using technology I had used 30 years ago maybe! I am a customer service rep for Medicare using a state of the art computer system. How would I feel if someone contacted me and said he/she studied medicare at home as a hobby using AOL dialup. I'd have to fight off feelings of patting her on the head and saying .. oh GOOD...

Indeed after speaking at GLPA in Cleveland and SEPA in Nashville and Pensacola in the 90's about 'home planetariums', I really never heard anything from anyone in the professional realm so I basically gave that up. With the help of editors like you, I published some things but also never heard anything. So I guess acknowledgement that people do have this passion would be the cornerstone. We are bound to the professionals by passion as well as pursuits, and I truly believe nobody does this professionally who does NOT have that passion. Nobody does this professionally who can NOT relate to me in my 60's basement punching pinholes in a cakebox. They feel it. We all do.

The list of what YOU as professionals can do would start then with simple acknowledgement and a signal of support. Sure old equipment is great, I've got musty things with 'Spitz' logos on them etc, and could sure use more. But really just that feeling of one team - one love - one passion, that's all I could ask for. Maybe an email or post on OC now and then - there are only a few of us and thats where we are making our last stand basically. Do you know Owen Phairius and his museum? Do you know what Ron Walker is doing in Arizona? Thanks to Sharon for inviting me to St Louis, I would come if I felt that we could bond in some fashion.

I'll bet we could! Thanks for listening! Gary Likert

Great input Gare!

Susan had mentioned the possibility of setting up a clearing house for both old unused (and probably unwanted) equipment as well as no longer but useful slide based shows. Not a bad idea and I even offered to be the store house (that way I could pick the best for my shows (IMG:http://www.observatorycentral.com/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif) ). You all know how I feel about a melted projector with a lens hanging out. THAT'S GOOD JUNK and worth keeping. A problem comes with the cost of moving it about the country. Who pays for it. Also would this start stepping on the toes of those that do it for a living like Ash Enterprises. Now Ash would probably throw away the kind of thing that I would keep but what about a rebuilt orrery. What about copyright of old programs if they stay in tact? One could collect slides and just have them available for inserting into new programs. How many even make new programs.

I ventured forth the thought of having a Forum or Group under the International Planetarium Society's wing. We as "hobbyists" as not far from the several hundred "old style" planetariums still working out there. The question is, are we just hobbyists or are we educators as well.

When I first started I had no plans to be any kind of educator. It was the fun of the hobby, the tinkering with lenses and motors and bulbs, that gave satisfaction. But then there were people that wanted to come and see what I was doing and soon I was educating. Not planned, it just happened, and what a new dimension it added to my initial desires. The thing is one cannot share this hobby without educating...it's as simple as that.

My .02:

All GOOD THOUGHTS HERE! mm

are we just hobbyists or are we educators as well.

good junkists maybe. i'm actually leaning more toward evangelism .. inspirational cheerleading ...

hey save a melted projector for me, i'll add the lense to my aurora illinois projector ...

i'm glad you didnt say cultists. but were you THINKING it???

QUOTE(mrgare5050 @ Oct 9 2017, 04:13 PM) *
are we just hobbyists or are we educators as well.

good junkists maybe. i'm actually leaning more toward evangelism .. inspirational cheerleading ...

hey save a melted projector for me, i'll add the lense to my aurora illinois projector ...

i'm glad you didnt say cultists. but were you THINKING it???


Certainly not cultists as they would be the ones coming to our shows. Inspirational cheer leading could lead to a following of sorts. Are we trying to put names and labels on everything we do? Good junkists for sure, but to what end. What happens when we get that good junk to work in a way we like? What is its use then? Don't we share the fruits of our labors with others? And in sharing, do we not educate? When we punched those holes in the cake box and saw the wonders it produced, didn't we seek others to show them what we had accomplished. While we might have looked far and wide for those that would appreciate the device itself, what we got were those that learned from what the device did. Yes, we are certainly educators but then we are doers as well. No matter how professional or amateur work to attain it, the goal is ultimately the same, to share what we love. To share what we love is to educate, thus we are educators.

My intro program contains the classic "how to find the north star". I think I have taken for granted that everyone knows this before I start but I have found that to be not true at all. Surprisingly more of my viewers do not know this simple basic bit of astronomy. Who knows but it is possible that one of my audience has not gotten lost because they remembered that one thing.

OK, I have to ask, what exactly is a "aurora Illinois projector?

QUOTE(moonmagic @ Oct 9 2017, 02:48 PM) *
My .02:

All GOOD THOUGHTS HERE! mm


How about $2? I'm sure you have more to say then that.

$2 worth?

All I will attempt here is to reinforce and support what I garnered from both your initial "ALL GOOD" thoughts.

Is there hardly a human being that is not some sort of natural teacher?

Are not parents the original teachers?

Some teachers offer only knowledge of personal experiences; others combine experiences with backgrounds routed in formal education. Regardless of social, economic, or educational structure we are all teachers.

Teachers by nature seek to educate, inspire, motivate, and encourage their contacts; some even managing to accomplish this with an entertaining edge.

I submit those of us who have previously been inspired by our own teachers/mentors or through our personal experiences naturally gravitate to a need to share our knowledge and excitement with others.

Whether approached as a hobby or profession the majority of endeavors require some specialized equipment and reasonable infrastructure in order to support the work. Thus, our need of dark rooms, domed ceilings, projectors, and in most instances, dedicated space(s).

In most types of "work" (planetariums being no exception) the collecting of "good junk" is a normal part of the process. Since most of we "hobby" types yearn more for the legacy projections, we constantly are cognizant of materials and equipment that could be "made" into use for special effect or auxiliary projectors. Perhaps too our ages are somewhat coupled to the philosophy of attempting to "make" things when needed. We seem to have no problem with experimenting until we create something we find acceptable for our use. We also experience personal growth when we are confident enough to "try" something new. We have also been encouraged to see "change" as a normal part of the work process, again regardless of the work being hobby or professional level. Most teachers encourage creativity and to some extent embrace change.

"We" are teachers. Teachers are story-tellers. Teachers are inventors, writers, producers, and thinkers. Teachers are people who are blessed with the ability to take complicated concepts and ideas and simplify them enough that anyone can grasp them. We inspire through educating as we lead people to discover how our universe is mechanical in nature. We help to connect one concept to another so people get a clearer picture of how things are interdependent upon one another.

While our star fields, domes, and other devices are of paramount importance to us, they are merely the tools we use in our work. They are to us as the hammer and nail is to the carpenter. We are fortunate that our tools are in some ways awe-inspiring in and of themselves. Our fortune is that our tools when used well, turn our laboratories/classrooms into virtual reality environments. Generally, no matter what the weather or circumstance, we can use our artificial skies at any time to demonstrate our concepts. Our environment allows us the luxury to make seemingly one dimensional ideas come alive as three dimensional concepts.

Does it actually matter whether we give organized regularly scheduled shows to public audiences, or just upon occasion show the star field to our next door neighbor? The act of sharing our combined knowledge and environment with anyone teaches and perhaps inspires. As previously well stated, it also fulfills one of our basic needs. Teachers need to share. mm

The pleiades conference is available on Facebook under:

pleiades national planetarium conference 2017
Paper Session 3 (Room 1) IPS invite, Astronomy Update

The following should get you close. Susan's presentation if from 12:40 to 28:30

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/pleiade..._blended_videos
Attached File(s)
Attached File  NoDomeLeftBehind.txt ( 5.24k ) Number of downloads: 7
 
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mrgare5050
post Oct 11 2017, 03:03 AM
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OK, I have to ask, what exactly is a "aurora Illinois projector?

Aurora Illinois holds a dark memory for me, one of my friends in Villa Park IL lost her sister in a car wreck about 65, then her older brother ran away. He was found in Aurora, and to this day that name seems like the end of the world, as it did to my 12 yearold self! I often hope the sister and brother are ok, wherever they are today. But then I lightened up and researched Aurora and its a fascinating town, and THEN I thought, wonder how many Auroras there ARE in the US. And I was ASTOUNDED. And then I saw how many there are in the WORLD, and I realized 'Aurora' IS truly the end of the earth, there are Auroras EVERYWHERE! So lightheartedly this could be a talking point as i turn on my aurora illinois projector. i never said i wasnt weird....

Attached File  aurora1.JPG ( 58.84k ) Number of downloads: 0

Attached File  aurora2.JPG ( 60.68k ) Number of downloads: 0
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Ron Walker
post Oct 11 2017, 11:49 AM
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I wonder how many people in the various Auroras can actually see the Aurora from where they are.

How come your website went down?
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mrgare5050
post Oct 12 2017, 02:47 AM
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QUOTE(Ron Walker @ Oct 11 2017, 05:49 PM) *
I wonder how many people in the various Auroras can actually see the Aurora from where they are.

How come your website went down?

--------------------------------------------------
Teachers need to share. mm

i need a big banner that says that mm, so true


website? well it was an early one using a now defunct tool (pagebuilder) from a nearly defunct company (yahoo) -- they stopped supporting it so after playing with it ENDLESSLY i could no longer up date it anyway. but it suffered from an identity crisis, one year it would be HPA, the next year it would be Sumner Skies - the next year it would be both .... I never believed the 'hit' statistics. So finally my credit card expired and they DIDNT send a reminder, i think they wanted to weed it out and they deleted it without even telling me!

ive still got this free wix one, which is probably all i need. its generically titled for children. its a useful record of different historical eras in the theater and even our cars in the driveway, a good way to save some pictures, the ones with the kids seated are even from the 10 foot dome era.

http://mrgare5050.wixsite.com/gallatinplanetarium

do websites matter? ive soured on facebook man, its getting pushy, it nags me to post, it dredges up old stuff, it even made its own video for me. its alive!
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Ron Walker
post Oct 12 2017, 11:13 AM
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I love the big yellow school bus. I must admit I've never had one of those. How many kids came with that one and how did you handle them? I'm sure you went over this but I'm too lazy to look for it.

When I had my business website it was the same thing. I spent more then I should have for the Adobe Dreamweaver program. Soon I couldn't get on the site any longer unless I spent $500 for an upgrade. Not worth it and sad as I had at least fifty pages that probably never brought in one client. What a waste of time and money.

Facebook works fine for me and I will use it until they change the rules or start charging.
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mrgare5050
post Oct 13 2017, 02:06 AM
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School bus? They solved the too many people problem by coming out on two consecutive days. I think those were the ones who i just gave a slide show to on star formation, using an old Smith slide projector I literally had duct taped together. I was young then. Crazy. Not like now.....


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mrgare5050
post Oct 13 2017, 02:51 AM
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dont get me wrong, Facebook has been HUGE for me in other areas. for example, I had this IMPOSSIBLE crush on a girl in junior high in Villa Park ... she was way out of my league .. I didnt even have a league being a telescope/guitar geek. she appeared on I GREW UP IN VILLA PARK facebook .. now of course in her 60s . and liked something i said. my universe became whole that day. dreams do come true (IMG:http://www.observatorycentral.com/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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moonmagic
post Oct 13 2017, 02:17 PM
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Responding to Gare's last post:

Ah Ha!

LOVE at first BYTE!
mm
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mrgare5050
post Oct 14 2017, 02:09 AM
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QUOTE(Ron Walker @ Oct 13 2017, 07:45 PM) *
The pleiades conference is available on Facebook under:

pleiades national planetarium conference 2017
Paper Session 3 (Room 1) IPS invite, Astronomy Update

The following should get you close. Susan's presentation if from 12:40 to 28:30

https://www.facebook.com/search/str/pleiade..._blended_videos


-----------------------------------------------

those videos dont run on my browser, but looks typically glitzy. slides of my chicken coop didnt exactly fit in 20 years ago, let alone now! i hope it went well though.
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mrgare5050
post Oct 14 2017, 02:11 AM
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QUOTE(moonmagic @ Oct 13 2017, 08:17 PM) *
Responding to Gare's last post:

Ah Ha!

LOVE at first BYTE!
mm




impossible reunions are facebooks greatest strength in my opinion. pictures you load just go down a bottomless well and it wants more and more! then you start hungering for 'likes' and feeling hurt if you dont get them. we also found kids of my long lost dad's brothers kids, living in the same town he did! i'm more of an archivist i think than a post for the moment and then its gone person. i try to keep living in every moment i ever lived in, all at the same time!
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mrgare5050
post Oct 14 2017, 05:31 AM
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So what do yous think

Is OC the LAST STAND of the old guard?
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moonmagic
post Oct 18 2017, 06:16 PM
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Gare-

Assuming, I know what you mean by "old guard" I am one! Perhaps our association through OC makes it our "Last Stand."

I am guessing that you are considering those of us posting on OC as the "old guard?" Did you in particular mean those who still prefer legacy type projectors (whether home built or manufactured) over digital? Assuming that thought process, I am addressing my post:

Maybe "our" old guard is a collimation of our respective ages; our love/fascination of what we grew up with; and our unique place as more hobby than profession. Perhaps these things ALLOW us this luxury. If so, then we are certainly a part of the "old guard."

I don't intend this post to refuel any debate on which format is better. I assume that long ago put to bed. Clearly, for some it is a double-edged sword. Each type/format of projection has its place along with plus and minus considerations. The "industry" is now digital, as is our world. While a number of installations still have their original legacy type machines, it seems logical that when the time comes for replacement the majority will be digital or hybrid digital with some smaller version of optical/mechanical.

The older I become the more I must admit tending to cling with what is familiar to me. Perhaps this is natural? (My collections are evidence of this!) Yet, I still enjoy much of the modern world. This says that while I generally attempt to resist change (at least just for the sake of change) I still will embrace to some extent what is new. As I am not a part of the professional world, I again have that luxury.

When it comes to a Museum, Planetarium, Science Center or School their decisions normally come down to budgets and what "bang for the buck" they can get. Regardless of their pro's and con's list most will now go digital and feel strongly they get more for their investment this way. No doubt, it's the trend.

As one in the "old guard" who has the luxury of "hobby-only" status, I admit that my desire of the legacy type machines, has only to do with a few factors albeit some more legitimate than others:

(1) realism of the star field as in size and shape of "stars"
(2) lack of true blackness between stars
(3) amount of extraneous light being cast off from the bright digital projectors
(4) loss of the giant mechanical contraption in the center of the room
(5) I grew up with them, they are the picture next to the word in the dictionary

I'll admit that it is hard for me to look at a single fish-eyed lensed box or pair of boxes in the center of the room or a series of small projectors hung from a cove line surrounding it and calling it a "planetarium."

Yet, digital star fields (I also must admit) have improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years. In the last three I've visited the only place I could actually see a pixel was if I got right up close to the spring line. From a seated position within the audience I could not see this. The other issue for me was the amount of light being given off. I felt like some of the "magic" was lost, but this was really no worse than some old-time operator flooding the room with often too bright projections of slides, videos, or special effect projections. Therefore to any person for whom this is their first experience in a "planetarium" they will "see" no difference as they lack anything to which they can compare.

For the day to day in the trenches professional the many pros seem to outweigh any cons:

How many single-entity (one staff person) planetarians who have converted to digital formats have said something like: "instead of worrying about a hundred different units and systems not working, now I only am concerned with just one."
The beauty of running the entire room from a tablet in hand while walking around in the chamber and interacting with the audience has got to be great. Another plus is the ease in which one can change from one show to another, or for more "on-the-fly" type presentations of being able to select instantly any projection desired. Perhaps of still more importance to the bean counters of such facilities is being able to do more with less staff. Depending upon the mission of a facility, it is possible to run a planetarium for both school and public shows with a staff of one full-time person. Certainly not ideal in my opinion, but from the bottom-liners none the less acceptable.

I find it interesting that the major planetarium companies all still offering (and are even marketing NEW) optical/mechanical projectors, albeit with smaller footprints such that they can be married and sold along with digital projection systems. (Certainly if a facility can afford both, then perhaps they have the best of both worlds? If I were a part of the professional world I would push for this at any facility I was a part, still knowing that I would likely not be the final decision maker).

Minolta just released their newest Optical/mechanical machine (for small to medium sized domes) which can be a stand alone for those who desire only that format, yet it can be a hybrid joined with one of their digital (Media-Globe) projectors. Thus, Goto, Minolta, Zeiss and perhaps others still offer BOTH formats for professionals.

(I am not aware if a Spitz optical/mechanical product is currently offered to work in conjunction with their SciDome digital, but again since they are now a part of Zeiss , there are Zeiss products that are available as both optical/mechanical and digital)

Meanwhile, there may be others currently working in planetariums that would shift into the same category (old guard) IF they decided AFTER retirement to build their own personal planetariums. Yet, I tend to think about the number of people who work a long career who after retirement want little (or nothing) to do with the trappings of their former jobs. With that reasoning the membership in this "old guard" may always remain very limited. Even through the OC (over almost a decade) we have only found maybe a dozen or so people who have built, collected, or operated their own planetariums. Clearly, as we have always thought, this is a VERY unique niche. Maybe there would be more of the "old guard" types if there were existing combinations of personal desire, skills, equipment, infrastructure, and perhaps most importantly, discretionary personal funds during people's latter years.

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate parts of our hobby is it's requirements of normally large spaces and specialized equipment which comes with high costs. I find myself with a number of hobbies in late life, ALL of which I see as deserving of space and funds and yet feel compelled to choose one over the others. While much of life is some form of compromise I have worked long hoping to establish a point where I would have provided myself the ability to no longer have to give up one favored thing for another. That, of course, is sadly not where I am. Sometimes it feels like considering which children to abandon for the sake of one child. (Yes, I know it is NOT at all the same, but insert WHINE here....)

Again, assuming I knew what you meant by "old guard" I therefore assume I am one. While OC may currently be our "Last Stand" I tend to think the old guard would find another "place" to share our common interests should this be dissolved. Global email is easy, although I still like mimeographed newsletters! mm
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mrgare5050
post Oct 21 2017, 02:16 AM
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Gare
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Well I've been pondering 'last stand'. It implies the final step before extinction, like the dinosaurs pointing up and saying, hey whats that big rock up there? I dont think OC is unique actually, I just googled 'love of optical planetariums' and found some sentmental pieces Yes, sentimental. Arent car shows in parking lots sentimental though? They are thriving, I've run into 3 in the last 3 months consuming whole town squares. I don't think ANYTHING is going to die out anymore.

I went to a current planetarium last weekend, and while I didn't think it was very inspiring, they had people in there every hour on the hour, so what do I know?

I guess its fruitless to ponder ones place in history. You gotta just keep doing what you do. Todays kid is tomorrows old guard, so I think I've ended up thinking if craft beer can come back - if vinyl records can come back - pinhole projectors can come back too. Or live on somewhere. HERE for instance.
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Ron Walker
post Oct 31 2017, 03:18 PM
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Sharon sent me the final paper as presented at the Pleiades National Planetarium Conference. I don't think she would mind my reproducing it here. I'm sure it will be placed on the IPS website with the rest of the papers very soon. Comments, as always, are welcome.

Paper Title: No Dome Left Behind
Presented: Thursday, October 12, 1917
Pleiades National Planetarium Conference 2017
St Louis, Missouri

Sharon Shanks
Institutional Affiliation: None. Retired from Ward Beecher Planetarium, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH 44555; or can use IPS affiliation.
sharon.shanks@gmail.com

Tom Arnold
Science Museum Oklahoma, Kirkpatrick Planetarium
200 Remington Place, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73111
tarnold@sciencemuseumok.org

Ron Walker
The Star Barn Planetarium
PO Box 161
Cave Creek, Arizona 85327
thestarbarn@gmail.com

Abstract:
Technology has improved life for many of us, but it has made life difficult for others. They are the traditional domes that cannot afford or deliberately decide not to adopt fulldome. What can the planetarium community do to make sure every dome makes the best use of the tools that it has? At the same time, what can we do to keep good planetarium tools out of landfills? And, connected with this, we need to reach out to the reclusive planetarians who do not know about-or who think they don't need-the assistance that the affiliates here at the Pleiades Conference can provide them. This is both a short paper and an introduction to a larger effort to gather the minds and ideas of the planetarium community.

This paper session is intended to gather information, and perhaps interested participants, to address the position of traditional planetariums in the digital world.
I would like first to define the meaning of a “traditional” planetarium in the context of this discussion.
A traditional planetarium is a projector, a dome, a presenter, and some way to point out the stars to the audience. By default, the projector is understood to be an opto-mechanical device because digital projectors are a much later development in planetarium history. The traditional planetarium, in the true sense of the word, has a means to project the stars and a person to explain them.
An updated traditional planetarium has added means to project non-star images on the dome, such as slide projectors and/or video projectors. This planetarium may or may not have panorama and/or allsky projectors, but the images cannot move. The video projectors also do not cover the entire dome and usually appear in rectangles.

A digital planetarium has added fulldome video projection, and usually has discarded the now redundant slide projectors.

Digital planetariums also can be divided into two categories: A hybrid digital planetarium, which has retained its opto-mechanical star projector, either synched with its digital system or used in conjunction with it, and a true digital planetarium, which has eliminated its opto-mechanical projector and relies on digital stars.

Questions I would like to discuss:
1. Are true planetariums taking an ever-increasing backseat to new technology?
2. Can there be show production in this digital age for traditional planetariums?
3. Do we really know what planetarium visitors want to see in a presentation? Is is time for a study?
4. Is there a way that equipment no longer needed by digital planetariums can be shared with planetariums that need it?
5. How do we reach the unaffiliated planetariums?

Most facilities are loathe to discard perfectly good pieces of equipment, but do not have the storage space to keep it or the mechanical expertise to repair it. Making the equipment available through dome-l or through affiliate newsletters are the only two ways I have seen to accomplish the sharing.
The crux, then, is having space to store the equipment, getting the pieces there, and then letting traditional/updated planetariums know that it is available. And, of course, covering the cost of shipping.

The same question can be asked about slides and slide-based planetarium programs. Is there a way to share slide-based show kits with updated domes without violating licensing agreements? Can a show that cost, for example, $1200 some 15 years ago still be sold at that price? What happens if the originating producer (Calgary Science Center, for example), is no longer producing shows and has no mechanism in place to accept payment? (And, in the case of Calgary, now has a new name and no staff left who knows that they used to produce and sell shows.)

Additional thoughts to discuss:
Planetariums, no matter their circumstances, share the night sky with the tools they have available. If a particular dome has only a star projector, is that not what its audiences come to see?

You can logically see the upgrade to digital projection as a necessarily continual process because it is based on computers, which are continually changing in concert with technology upgrades. Whereas an opto-mechanical projector needs only regular maintenance to keep performing for decades, a digital system will either need to be continually upgraded or completely replaced, probably within less than a decade. Does this deepen the divide between the “haves” and “have nots,” or will it make the planetarium community even more diverse, based on the level of technology they can attain?
Note: The presentation that preceded this one, “Inspiring the Next Generation with Limited Resources in an Increasingly Technological World” by Paulette Epstein from the Dassault Systemes Planetarium at the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, Michigan, Planetarium, dovetails beautifully with this topic.

Afterwards:
During the question and answer period, an emphasis on education and live interaction emerged, noting that the digital technology is proprietary, but that knowledge is not. Several people stressed the need for live interaction to immerse the audience in the presentation.

Also discussed:
 Incorporating other sciences under the dome
 Working with existing organizations, including all the regionals
 Establishing a mentoring committee within each regional to work with new planetarians, regardless of their location; suggesting that IPS spearhead the effort
 Sharing the message that “you’re not alone”

One of the authors of this paper, Ron Walker, has volunteered to start a clearing house for audio preservation from older technology, digitizing from reel-to-reel tape through ADAT and more (laser discs, cassette tapes, 16mm films, VHS, and vinyl records). There is so much material out there that will soon be lost, especially considering how few copies were originally made.

His quarterly Planetarian column, A Different Point of View, will continue to address the overall topic of traditional planetariums and provide one outlet for information. Another is through the website Observatory Central (observatorycentral.com), which hosts a Planetarium Forum with subtopics “planetariums as a hobby” and “planetarium classifieds” for planetarium parts and accessories for sale or wanted.

Another resource is The Home Planetarium Association, planetariums.blogspot.com.

During the conference, paper co-author Sharon Shanks planted the seeds of formation of a high school planetarium cadre, also open to planetarians in other grade levels, to focus on sharing lessons and best practices specifically with school facilities and to encourage their teachers to join their local planetarium association. According to the IPS Searchable Database of Planetariums (accessed September, 2017), there are 663 planetariums in schools, the majority of which are in high schools (358) and middle schools (207).

Conclusion:
From discussion following this presentation and other informal talks during the conference, it is obvious that there is a need and a desire for more support from the planetarium field for traditional planetarium operators. Not so obvious is how to provide this support. The most important conclusion, however, is the need to find a dedicated person willing to invest the time and effort in making improved communications and coordinating resources available for this underserved population.


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mrgare5050
post Nov 1 2017, 06:21 AM
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The lights are still on? I thought the lease ran out Nov 1.

Ron said, Comments, as always, are welcome.

I normally don't comment, but I WILL make exception to that rule. exception number 4316.

Great report! There IS a need, and perhaps this what us amateurs can do. I was thinking in particular about these high schools, maybe reaching out to the nearest ones. Sortof like going to Alpha Centauri first to see if they are friendly on other stars. Not very much like that, but weak analogies are legal.

Thanks to Sharon also for the nice mention in this. Is that opportunity knocking I hear?
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Ron Walker
post Nov 1 2017, 12:32 PM
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QUOTE(mrgare5050 @ Nov 1 2017, 05:21 AM) *
The lights are still on? I thought the lease ran out Nov 1.

Ron said, Comments, as always, are welcome.

I normally don't comment, but I WILL make exception to that rule. exception number 4316.

Great report! There IS a need, and perhaps this what us amateurs can do. I was thinking in particular about these high schools, maybe reaching out to the nearest ones. Sortof like going to Alpha Centauri first to see if they are friendly on other stars. Not very much like that, but weak analogies are legal.

Thanks to Sharon also for the nice mention in this. Is that opportunity knocking I hear?


As long as you don't invoke exception number 666 I'm OK with it. I had an email into Dave as to when and how much for over a month now but I have not received any answer yet. One should not disturb a sleeping humanitarian so to speak. Andy tried to send me a check but got it back because of a post office thing (don't ask).

In another thread http://www.observatorycentral.com/index.ph...=25294&st=0 several of you were willing to support this site. Gare, Moon, Andy, Lee, and myself. That is five total. My question is are you all still in and would you be willing to go to $60 as I'm sure the costs have gone up. I'm holding it at a guess of $300 total.

Since Sharon listed this site as a place to go, I would hate for a potential string of new information seekers to get a "404" screen. However, again I just can't justify the cost of holding it together on my lonesome. So let me hear from you guys once again if your willing to help prop this site up.

Perhaps I can con you with making you moderators...I think I have that power. Then you can also bump off people that are trying to sell timeshares wherever.
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slshanks
post Nov 1 2017, 12:42 PM
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QUOTE(Ron Walker @ Nov 1 2017, 02:32 PM) *
As long as you don't invoke exception number 666 I'm OK with it. I had an email into Dave as to when and how much for over a month now but I have not received any answer yet. One should not disturb a sleeping humanitarian so to speak. Andy tried to send me a check but got it back because of a post office thing (don't ask).

In another thread http://www.observatorycentral.com/index.ph...=25294&st=0 several of you were willing to support this site. Gare, Moon, Andy, Lee, and myself. That is five total. My question is are you all still in and would you be willing to go to $60 as I'm sure the costs have gone up. I'm holding it at a guess of $300 total.

Since Sharon listed this site as a place to go, I would hate for a potential string of new information seekers to get a "404" screen. However, again I just can't justify the cost of holding it together on my lonesome. So let me hear from you guys once again if your willing to help prop this site up.

Perhaps I can con you with making you moderators...I think I have that power. Then you can also bump off people that are trying to sell timeshares wherever.



Coming in late on this. Is this a question of needing funding to keep the website up and active?
I can chip in $100.
Sharon
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mrgare5050
post Nov 1 2017, 01:10 PM
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Nicely stated Ms Sharon! I write checks every hour, whats one more. Not to 'prop up' OC - to continue its ascent into saving the planetariums! SAVE THE BEASTS! I may have watched too much NPR. OC is the barricade. We wont let optical die. Pinholes to the people!

Actually OC DID go down this morning. It was up at 3 AM - then it was GONE at 5 AM, returning about 8 AM. Unless my browser is playing tricks. I thought the plug had been pulled, I really did.

I'm in for whatever it takes. Now. How can I get a list of high school planetariums - IPS must have one - back in the day I had a library subscription which included those things, wonder if they still do that?


exception 666 is on one of these boards. now i want to find it....

me a moderator? i feel like luke entering yoda's lair ......
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moonmagic
post Nov 1 2017, 02:19 PM
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Moon is good for $60 or $100 as needed.
Say the word and make out to you?
mm
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Ron Walker
post Nov 1 2017, 08:15 PM
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You guys are all great. I will see what I can find out about the total costs. (IMG:http://www.observatorycentral.com/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif)
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