Powerful Scripting Feature Added to Digitarium Alpha Planetarium ProjectorNew features further enhance this powerful and affordable astronomy education tool.
Bremerton, WA October 1, 2005 -- Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. proudly announces the addition of many new features to its Digitarium Alpha portable digital planetarium projector. These new features add even greater flexibility and ease of use to this unique educational tool.
The greatest change is the addition of a scripting feature, which allows the playback of recorded actions. Astronomy educators can now create and refine their own shows or short segments on a PC using Stellarium, the open source planetarium software used in the Digitarium Alpha projector. Playing the script from the projector is as simple as burning a CD, popping this into the projector, and selecting a script from a menu.
Scripts can include a sound track for a complete prerecorded program. Previously the only way to create prerecorded shows was with specialized video production tools, which have a much higher learning curve and cost.
Scripting offers numerous benefits. With scripts, educators can automate actions that are frequently performed, tedious, or impossible to perform live. As an example, a script could overlay and move images on the sky to simulate an aurora, something that just can't be done manually without access to an appropriate full-dome video. Scripting also allows customization of certain aspects of the projector, such as adding a custom landscape, and gives users finer control over the simulation software.
Other new features of note include Chinese and ancient Egyptian constellation outlines and labels, simulation of lunar eclipses, and display of star distances. Current customers have received these new features and a selection of useful scripts as a free software update.
Digitalis has spent considerable effort to add these features to Stellarium, and in the interest of expanding astronomy awareness, we invite you to download Stellarium for yourself at Stellarium.org. This is free, open source software for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix.
About the Digitarium Alpha planetarium projector: The Digitarium Alpha projector was launched in November, 2003 to fill the need for an affordable, full-featured portable planetarium projector. It allows educators to easily take the capabilities of a fixed planetarium on the road or to share one system across an entire school district; it is also an excellent choice for small fixed domes. The Digitarium Alpha projector is a powerful tool for teaching astronomy to students of all ages, yet it is simple to operate via a handheld, backlit remote control.
About Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc.: Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. is the leading provider of easily portable digital planetarium systems. Karrie Berglund, Director of Education, spent more than six years teaching fulltime for Pacific Science Center's Science On Wheels outreach program and also supervised PSC's Smith Planetarium.
[Our Zeiss starball] projector itself was great but we could not find any 'good' new shows for this format (slides). I told my boss it was like having a perfectly running car that required leaded gas to run. It works fine but no fuel available... Thankfully our entire group decided... to move into the digital age.
— Jim Duke, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR