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Our Place In The Universe ... TED talks: Our place in the cosmos. Carter Emmart demos a 3D atlas of the universe. Carter Emmart uses astronomy and computational modeling to create scientifically accurate, three-dimensional tours of our universe. "My job is to translate the difficulty of science into understandable stories." (Carter Emmart) --- Please SUBSCRIBE to Science & Reason: • • • --- For the last 12 years, Carter Emmart has been coordinating the efforts of scientists, artists and programmers to build a complete 3D visualization of our known universe. He demos this stunning tour and explains how it's being shared with facilities around the world. As the Director of Astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History, Carter Emmart directs their groundbreaking space shows and heads up development of an interactive 3D atlas called The Digital Universe. He coordinates scientists, programmers and artists to produce scientifically accurate yet visually stunning and immersive space experiences in the AMNH's Hayden Planetarium. Over the last decade, he has directed four shows: "Passport to the Universe", "The Search for Life: Are we Alone?", "Cosmic Collisions" and "Journey to the Stars". Emmart's interest in space began early, and at ten he was taking astronomy courses in the old Hayden. As a child born into a family of artists, he naturally combined his love of science with his tendency for visualization. His first work was in architectural modeling, soon moving on to do scientific visualization for NASA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research, before joining the AMNH. • • --- TRANSCRIPT The flat horizon that we've evolved with has been a metaphor for the infinite, unbounded resources and unlimited capacity for disposal of waste. It wasn't until we really left Earth, got above the atmosphere and had seen the horizon bend back on itself that we could understand our planet as a limited condition. The Digital Universe Atlas has been built at the American Museum of Natural History over the past 12 years. We maintain that, put that together as a project to really chart the universe across all scales. What we see here are satellites around the Earth, and the Earth in proper registration against the universe, as we see. NASA supported this work 12 years ago as part of the rebuilding of the Hayden Planetarium so that we would share this with the world. The Digital Universe is the basis of our space show productions that we do -- our main space shows in the dome. But what you see here is the result of actually internships that we hosted with Linkoping University in Sweden. I've had 12 students work on this for their graduate work. And the result has been this software called Uniview and a company called SCISS in Sweden. This software allows interactive use. So this actual flight path and movie that we see here was actually flown live. I captured this live from my laptop in a cafe called Earth Matters on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where I live. And it was done as a collaborative project with the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art for an exhibit on comparative cosmology. And so as we move out, we see continuously from our planet all the way out into the real of galaxies as we see here, light travel time, giving you a sense of how far away we are. As we move out, the light from these distant galaxies have taken so long, we're essentially backing up into the past. We back so far up we're finally seeing a containment around us -- the afterglow of the Big Bang. This is the WMAP microwave background that we see. We'll fly outside it here, just to see this sort of containment. If we were outside this, it would almost be meaningless, in the sense as before time. But this our containment of the visible universe. We know the universe is bigger than that which we can see. And just in closing, I'd just like to say this beautiful world that we live on -- Here we see a bit of the snow that some of you may have had to brave in coming out. So I'd like to just say that what the world needs now is a sense of being able to look at ourselves in this much larger condition now and a much larger sense of what home is. Because our home is the universe, and we are the universe, essentially. We carry that in us. And to be able to see our context in this larger sense at all scales helps us all in understanding where we are and who we are in the universe. • .
Length: 07:31


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