It’s doubtful anyone alive today will get to ride through the ice volcanoes of Saturn’s largest moon — but you can do the next best thing at Seattle’s Pacific Science Center, thanks to a mixed-reality experience called Expedition Titan.
The walk-through production is the latest showcase for Hyperspace XR, a startup-in-residence that’s pioneering the frontiers of mixed reality at the science center.
What better way to celebrate 40 years of NASA’s interplanetary Voyager mission than with an eye-filling movie that brings the decades-old story up to date?
“The Search for Life in Space,” an IMAX 3-D documentary that opens at the Pacific Science Center today, begins with the twin Voyager probes’ exploration of the solar system and beyond. Voyager’s “Grand Tour” got off the ground in 1977 and continues to this day.
The film touches on astronomer Carl Sagan’s campaign to send a message to extraterrestrial civilizations that may someday come across the probe, in the form of a Golden Record that was launched aboard each of the two spacecraft.
The Pacific Science Center’s senior adviser, Dennis Schatz, has achieved a kind of fame that so far has eluded the likes of Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates: getting his name on an asteroid.
Asteroid Schatz joins more than 20,000 other “minor planets” that have been named after people, places and things. That represents only a small percentage of the more than 734,000 such objects that have been cataloged by the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center.
It’s generally up to an asteroid’s discoverer to propose a name for approval by the IAU, in accordance with a set of naming rules. (For example, no dictators need apply.) On occasion, the Minor Planet Center takes requests.
In Schatz’s case, it was Larry Wasserman, a planetary scientist at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona, who suggested the name. Asteroid 25232, previously known as 1998 TN33, was discovered in 1998 by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search, or LONEOS.