Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Software Allows Students to Control the Universe

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Software Allows Students to Control the Universe

Article excerpt

The mysteries of the universe are now a bit clearer for students thanks to the recent availability of a program that provides the most realistic view of the universe to date. The Astromicon: Celestial Construction Tool Kit by Cybernet Systems Corp. is a software program that allows students to build and manipulate 3-D replicas of the universe in order to apply the science principles they learn in the area of astronomy. The Astromicon is now available for purchase through Cybernet (www.cybernet.com).

Building a replica of the solar system, however, is only half of the learning experience. The Astromicon's immersive 3-D modeling environment exists for the purpose of better understanding the principles that rule the universe though manipulation of it. By manipulating the virtual universe, students can answer questions such as "How many eclipses are possible in a year?" and "What happens when an asteroid impact alters the Earth's tilt by five degrees?" The realistic nature of the program is enhanced by features such as arbitrary textures and orbits for planets, unlimited shadowing from a single light source (the sun), Keplerian physics, and cameras that can be placed in space that allow users to watch events via two subviews. …

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