Monday, May 17, 2010

SkyXplore Begins SpaceDome Mobile Digital Planetarium Project in the Philippines

The Diliman Preparatory School in Quezon City in the Philippines has launched its SkyXplore project with the SpaceDome Mobile Digital Planetarium as the main attraction. The astronomy education program is headed by former Philippine Senator Nikki Coseteng and aims to bring astronomy closer to the Filipino student through the inflatable planetarium, creating new windows for education and opening doors to new careers in science and technology. As of this writing, only the Rizal Technological University offers degree courses in astronomy.

The planetarium will be taken to schools nationwide to promote astronomy and to educate students in the science. She will be aided by astronomy consultants like Frederick Gabriana and wife Rochelle (2nd picture from the top). Lecturers include Ramon Acevedo, resident astronomer of the Seven Suites Observatory Hotel in Antipolo City. The planetarium currently shows the sky as seen by different cultures (like the Inuit and Lakota) with the Western view taking precedence.

Astronomer Gabriana will soon by integrating Philippine constellations in the open source program used with the planetarium computer and projector. He will be using the research of Historian Dr. Dante Ambrosio of the University of the Philippines. It will be the first time that the sky as seen by indigenous peoples of the Philippines will be featured in a planetarium program. Aside from stars, planets, and constellations, the planetarium is also capable of taking the viewer on a travel through time and space. It's also for showing movies. Shown at left is Coseteng presenting the meteorite collection of the Gabrianas which was originally part of the Allen Yu space rock collection.

Nikki Coseteng launches SkyXplore -Scienceray

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