April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Demonstrations: Description

Spitzer's Multi-Gigapixel GLIMPSE of the Milky Way

James Harold, Space Science Institute, USA

The Space Science Institute has been developing traveling science exhibits with accompanying web-based "virtual exhibits" for almost a decade. On occasion we can enhance these sites with small education supplements to science research grants. These allow us to create new content for a site whose primary funding may have expired, while providing a larger educational context for the supplementary grants.

We now have several projects which will not only develop web based content, but extend that content in to libraries in the form of micro-exhibits that will tie back to the web sites. The first of these relates to GLIMPSE, the Spitzer Space Telescope’s “Galactic Legacy Infrared Midplane Extraordinaire” This infrared image survey of the inner part of the Milky Way Galaxy consists of over 400,000 individual images assembled in to a final image several gigapixels in size. The images have 100 times the sensitivity and over 10 times the resolution of previous surveys, allowing us to see stars and dusty objects throughout most of the Galaxy for the first time.

Through a NASA supplementary education grant we’ve developed a bilingual, annotated image browser which can be delivered both over the web or in a standalone kiosk in a library or science center. The software and supporting signage is being made available free of charge to interested institutions in support of the International Year of Astronomy. We will demonstrate the viewer as well as show examples of the library exhibit.

Demonstration: Demonstrations 2 [Close Up]

Keywords: space, science, nasa, libraries, spitzer, astronomy