Topic: Photosynth and Hubble

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Thingamijig (Over 1 year ago)
I was wondering what the possibilties of combining photosynth and satellite imaging technology would be. Could a virtual solar system be created?
K (Over 1 year ago)
Individual planets & moons can definitely be synthed but probably not the whole solar system.  You might be able to hack something up to show the planets in the right places but there aren't enough images of space to actually link them using the photogrammetry techniques that Photosynth uses.

Check out this synth of the mooon, it shows a lot of promise
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Probably the only one that would stand a chance of being able to do that would be something like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, or the survey that PanSTARRS has planned once they're online.  As K pointed out, the sky coverage is just too sparse otherwise.  Even a one square degree imager (HUGE by astronomical standards) requires tens of thousands of shots to cover the entire visible hemisphere where that telescope is located, and to make a color image requires at least three science images, plus several calibration images.  The imagers on Hubble are much narrower than one square degree.

swami_worldtraveler (Over 1 year ago)
Perhaps these technical requirements seems out of reach now, but...
Thingamijig (Over 1 year ago)
Yes *looks up at sky dreaming*
I understand that all the technology neccesary to create this is not yet available I just have to dream. 
Would it be possible to intergrate other 3d rendering technology with Photosynth in order to help fill the gaps? 
I understand that photosynths veiwing pivots around different points in the scene. Will it be possible to have a camera control like that of modern FPS video games, where the scene pivots around the camera to allow more in depth exploration? Is it just a case of getting the image content and synth% high enough to map large areas?

I'm working on ideas for using emergent technologies to create video games for a university project and I would like to know just how viable my ideas are considering my limited knowledge?

Thank you for your time and effort:)
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
It's not so much a technical gap as it is a time-on-sky gap.  Telescopes big enough to make interesting pictures are relatively expensive, and cameras with a wide enough field of view to cover the sky in finite time are expensive.  So to single-purpose a telescope to this kind of all-sky survey costs a lot of money.  If you can piggy-back on top of an existing survey like the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, you've got it made in the shade.  If you need to build two facilities to get the work done (one in the northern hemisphere, one in the south), things get more expensive in a hurry.

One possibility would be to grab the SDSS data and pop in select images from Hubble, CFHT, Keck, ESO, and other observatories.  But they're gonna be hard to find in the synth.  Hubble's field of view is miniscule.  So's Keck and most other 10 and 8-meter class telescopes.  (Subaru will be an exception once their HSC wide field imager goes online.)  It'd be like finding a needle in a haystac
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
Just as a data point, the CFHT Megaprime wide field imager, which can do one square degree on the sky, generates a 360 megapixel image.  The amount of data you're talking about is insanely large.

Hey, one alternative that would be fun to do would be to get a DSLR with a 24mm prime lens on it, set it up pointing at a reasonable declination angle, and start an intervalometer that'll take five second exposures all night long.  At five seconds you'll get almost no star trails, and you can cover entire bands of the sky that way with fairly good depth.  Here's an image I did that way:

No special equipment requried aside from a normal photographic tripod and lots of patience.  I bumped that one to grayscale, but there's a fair bit of color information in the original images.

Marvin (Over 1 year ago)
This is a wonderful way to get a panorama of the sky, but I don't believe you'd get enough parallax to get a model of the solar system.
Headland (Over 1 year ago)
It's a shame you can't add more photos.  It would be great if an open account was available so people could add more photos of the same place to an open site instead of just one user uploading their own photos.  The most impressive thing about photosynth when I first saw it was when they gathered over 400 photos from the web and added them together. It would become a great social tool if this function was available.  ie have an open section where you can add photos according to site eg statue of liberty.  Then we could create an impressive display as a collective movement.  Here endith the rant.
tbenedict (Over 1 year ago)
But I still think something like that would be possible.  Say, start a project group on Flickr, and have people add photos to that group.  Then use the Flickr API to pull all those pictures off to a single computer to run through Photosynth.

It would mean a project like that would have a defined beginning and end time, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work.