Maia's In-Class Activity

OpenSpace and Gaia Sky are both "virtual planetariums" - they employ data collected from various space agencies in real time to create a map of known outer space. While they are extremely similar in a lot of ways, they also differ in the data sets they use, and we will try one in desktop and VR to see the pros and cons of each approach.

Pre-Class Activity

1.) Start up PaperSpace. Once on PaperSpace, download OpenSpace for Desktop and Gaia Sky (Windows 64-bit installer). (OpenSpace is pretty hefty, so you may want to delete some extraneous files / finish OpenSpace activity first then delete it and download Gaia Sky).

2.) Extract the OpenSpace folder to your desktop, and then follow the Gaia Sky installer default instructions.

3.) Connect headset to Virtual Desktop and start SteamVR. Open Gaia Sky VR (on Desktop) and press Dataset Manager. Select Gaia eDR3 default and then press "Download selected".

3.) If you want to check that Gaia Sky is working, launch VR and put on your headset!

Pairs for Class Activity:

*Eliza, Jacobi, Paul

*Lucia, Tongyu

*Beatrice, Amanda

*Aakansha, Shashidhar

*Nicholas, Robert

*Jennifer, Sayan

*Mandy, Alastair

Part One - OpenSpace for Desktop

1.) Navigate to OpenSpace/bin and click OpenSpace.exe. If you get permissions errors, just press "allow".

2.) The partner with the asterisk (*) next to their name is the leader, while the other partner(s) are the followers. The leader should choose some (non-Earth) object to focus on, Zoom in, and get a screenshot of it. The followers should also try to get as similar a screenshot as possible. Try not to look at each other's screens and guide each other verbally.

Tips: You can Zoom in/out by holding down your right button and dragging up/down the screen, you can change focus by changing "Focus" at the bottom of the screen and choosing another object

3.) Post your results to the class board!

ex. A screenshot of Earth in OpenSpace

Part Two - Gaia Sky in VR

1.) Connect your headset to the Virtual Desktop then launch SteamVR.

2.) Launch Gaia Sky VR (with the datasets described in pre-class activity).

3.) Switch leader and follower roles. The leader should choose some star A, zoom to that star, and then take a screenshot of another star B from star A. They should verbally guide the follower through the process of getting the same screenshot. (Sometimes it's difficult to click on / focus on another star; try staying at Earth and getting a screenshot of everyone pointing at the same star if this is the case).

Tips: Switch between focus/free mode by clicking the joystick, Zoom in and out using the joystick, toggle labels pressing x/y, toggle menu pressing a/b

4.) Post your results to the class board!

ex.) pic of me pointing at Arcturus from Earth