Georg Zotti

Invited Talk 5

 «Stellarium: simulation for research and outreach» 

Georg Zotti (LBI ArchPro, Austria).
Chair: Andrea Sosa.

Georg Zotti is computer scientist and cultural astronomer. During his
post-doctoral research on the possible astronomical orientation of Neolithic circular ditch systems in Austria (2008-12) he has joined the Stellarium development team to add unique program features geared towards modern virtual  archaeoastronomy. He is still working on accuracy and functional improvements for research and outreach, time permitting. His daytime work currently includes also applications of remote sensing and geographic information systems for archaeological prospection and graphic-heavy installations for archaeological exhibitions.

 WEDNESDAY – December 9
13:30 – 14:00 UTC

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Over the past decade the free and open-source cross-platform desktop planetarium program Stellarium has gained not only most of the computational accuracy requirements for today’s amateur astronomers, but also unique capabilities for specialized applications in cultural astronomy research and astronomical outreach. A 3D rendering module can put virtual reconstructions of human-made monuments in their surrounding landscape under the day and night skies of their respective epochs, so that the user can investigate and experience the potential connection of architecture, landscape, light and shadow, and the sky. It also played a key role in an exhibition about Stonehenge in Austria.

Exchangeable “skycultures” allow the presentation of constellation patterns and mythological figures of non-Western cultures. Stellarium’s multi-language support allows community-driven translation of the whole program, which predestines its use in education also in minority languages.

Stellarium is developed by a very small core team, but is open to external contributions. Most notably we invite well-researched skycultures, for which some capabilities may also need further development.