The Department of Physics at the University of Illinois has a long tradition of innovation in undergraduate education. From PLATO (the first computer based learning system) to Tycho (web-based homework employing the Socratic method), to Peer Instruction with i>clickers, we have continually led the development and implementation of the best instructional practices for large-enrollement introductory physics courses. The tradition continues with our most recent innovation— prelectures. These short (
Not-for-profit animated IMAX film in early production by a single filmmaker. Visit the site to make a tax-deductible contribution to support the film. I hope to present this clip at the international IMAX show (GSCA Expo) next month.
I'm very excited to present the first test from "In Saturn's Rings" that actually represents real footage in progress from the film. Camera moves are still being tweaked and this is cropped version as IMAX-sized stuff does not play well online. But thanks to the new version of Adobe After Effects, "Outside In" can be made as I have always envisioned.
Much thanks to everyone who has supported and contributed to this. This is the beginning, just a taste of incredible things to come.
This is fly-through of this photograph - photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA11141 - only a little brightness and contrast has been made to balance the moons with saturn's body. Do note that several thousand layers of many Cassini photographs were animated to make the fly-through work without any 3D CGI. The saturation is off due to lack of Flash Player ICM support.
This is still a work-in-progress and it's an art film, not a science film, but as new image data comes down I will tweak this shot for improved accuracy.
NOTE: For an update on the aftermath of this video, check out my talk at the Durham Regional Astronomical Association. vimeo.com/44219324
U.S. Congress is considering the cancellation of Hubble's successor. It's a telescope that would be capable of seeing almost all the way back to the big bang; abandoning it would be a tragic loss to science. This is a very short film asking them to reconsider.
NOTE: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO DOES NOT REPRESENT THE ENTIRE NIGHT SKY, or at least it doesn't anymore. I've updated the video to omit the foreground landscape in an effort to account for an error in perspective. Unfortunately, due to my error, websites are widely reporting that Jupiter would fill the entire night sky, but it wouldn't. What's depicted here is a much narrower perspective than the previously mentioned 62 degrees, something that I imagine could be calculated by people much brighter than I. I imagine this view is closer to what you'd see through some very weak binoculars, but that's just a guess. For a somewhat technical explanation of what was wrong with the original version of this video, and what that realization can teach us about skepticism, please read the following: bradblogspeed.com/im-bad-at-math
Here's an animation I did to make you feel small, and also convey the deep awe I feel at the feet of the Universe.
While watching the video of the lunar eclipse I posted the other day I was looking at the curvature of the earth's shadow on the moon. It made me think about how large the earth might look if an exact copy of it was up there instead of the moon. Soon curiosity got the better of me, and I was animating!
So the basic idea is, each planet you see is the size it would appear in the sky if it shared an orbit with the moon, 380,000 kms from earth. I created this video in After Effects, and because of certain technical considerations had to keep the field of view at 62 degrees. That means the foreground element is not precisely to scale. I realized this after the fact and may update the video at some point in the future. All planets are to correct scale with one another in any case.
Please watch full screen in HD if possible. Oh! And please consider sharing with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.