Indiana University
Campus People  |  

View the Universe in 3D

Showing students how stars look on the outside is easy. The challenge is helping them to understand why stars look as they do.

Here, we provide astronomically accurate, stereographic, 3D animations designed to allow viewers to see inside stars and planetary systems as they form, evolve, and die. Here also are 3D videos of the 3.5-m and 0.9-m WIYN telescopes at the Kitt Peak National Observatory to allow students to experience the reality of research telescopes, and how astronomers use them.

Stars are governed by the need to balance the enormous outflow of energy from their cores against the crush of the surrounding mass. Young stars establish that balance even as they collapse from dull clumps of frigid gas and dust into brilliant, massive balls of plasma and energy. We want students to gain an intuition of how stars operate and, in the process, how scientists think and solve problems, not just memorize facts. Students need to see stellar evolution for themselves, from the inside and outside and from beginning to end.

Technology is becoming available to allow just that. Televisions capable of displaying stereoscopic video cost very little more than ordinary sets. Passive 3D glasses are a few dollars a pair and 3D cameras for capturing stereo video are widely available.


WIYN Videos

- Coming Soon!

The 3.5-m and 0.9-M WIYN videos are produced in collaboration with the Advanced Visualization Laboratory, a unit of Indiana University's University Information Technology Services.

Astronomy Animations

- Coming Soon!

Kitt Peak Panoramas

Explore these Gigapan panoramas of the Kitt Peak National Observatory and the 3.5-m and 0.9-m WIYN Observatories at Kitt Peak, produced by the IU Advanced Visualization Laboratory. They are not 3d, but they are still awesome!

NASA 3D Materials

- Coming Soon!