SGI to map the galaxy

SGI's Silicon Graphics(R) Onyx2(TM) visual workstation will be used toproduce and project the world's first scientifically accurate 3D atlas ofthe Milky Way Galaxy at the new Hayden Planetarium as part of the AmericanMuseum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space in New YorkCity, which opens in 2000. As the centerpiece of the Hayden's 68-foot"virtual dome" Space Theater, Silicon Graphics Onyx2 will manipulatemassive scientific datasets containing billions of stars -- 100,000 timeslarger than that of any other planetarium. The resulting 3D star map willalso include close-ups of individual nebula, modeled from Hubble Telescopeimages, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for viewers, and furtherblurring the line between simulation and reality.

SGI is working closely with Trimension Systems Ltd., the system integratorfor all aspects of the computer system, display system and show automationtechnology. Aechelon Technology is developing C-Galaxy, theimage-generation software used to traverse star and astronomical databasesin real time. Aechelon's video playback control software permits themerging of fully rendered sequences into the real-time traversal forflexible show programming.