The Bareket Observatory in Israel just did something really remarkable – they celebrated the International Year of Astronomy with a live webcast for the entire world! During the event one could listen to live explanations by a U.S. astronomer and enjoying a special musical representation to those who are blind. I had very much been enjoying my conversations with Ido Bareket and had every intention of reminding our readers when the date was going to happen so you could join in… Then the storms hit Ohio.
Ido had invited me to help along with the live broadcast by being the US speaker and I’m glad he had the Internet “smarts” to know that satellite connections can easily be disrupted – because disrupted I became. Not only disrupted – but pretty much blown off the entire circuit. (Can you say open fields and lightning?) Anyhow, we’re back on board again here and although it’s past the date, you really need to take a look at how hard these folks are working towards global public outreach.
The Bareket Observatory’s Remote Internet Telescope stays at work doing imaging. During their event the scope took in such sights such as nebulae, star clusters, planets, and asteroids – all captured in real-time and integrated into a static image. Like our own IYA scope, they keep records of their images and you can visit with all their past work by just clicking around on the site.
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One of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen done is their way of translating astronomical images for the vision impaired. Mr. Marty Quinn , at Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab has applied image sonification parameters to the images in the IYA 2009 Bareket Observatory Deep Space Images Webcast so those who are without sight were able to perceive the images as music. How did they do it? The image color was translated into a scale of 9 instruments using Bareket’s recent standard developed in the “Walk on the Sun” science exhibit. In general, since the images are in black and white, the main instrument that expresses the image color in this case is the piano – although many were used. Isn’t that an awesome way to reach everyone?!
Once again, please take the time to visit Bareket Observatory’s Educational Pages and enjoy all the things they have to offer. The entire session is now available online as a V.O.D movie and this version for European viewers. It’s a great opportunity to all those who missed it, or would like to enjoy it again. Drop them a line and tell them how very much everything they do is appreciated!! It’s all about bonding our world together through astronomy.
Reach out to your brothers and sisters among the stars… They’re waiting for you!