Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

Sega Homestar Planetarium - Off of the Bino topic

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
19 replies to this topic

#1 gatorengineer

gatorengineer

    Gemini

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 3,194
  • Joined: 28 Feb 2005

Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:51 AM

Ok, I know this doesnt really belong in this forum but....

I wanted to post as I believe that this one single product could really cause a rennaisance in the interest in astronomy.

http://www.ohgizmo.com/?p=446

I ordered one of the new Sega Homestar Planetariums from Japan. (It hasnt made its way accross the pacific yet, but I hope it does.) It is a modern day update of the old planetarium projectors common in the 50's and 60's. It is capable of projecting 10,000 stars. Its designed to project on a flat surface wall or ceiling and is motor driven so you see the entire norther hemisphere sky every 15 minutes or so, or you can stop it at any one particular point. It comes with 2 "disks" one is the northern hemisphere sky with the constellation outlines, the other is the sky without. In short it is simply an incredible device. The images are bright and crisp, and well simply incredible. This little projector easily surpasses the local clubs zeiss projector, and many of the small museum and science center projectors I have seen. Its views had me reaching for the binos.

I hope every school science program in the country gets one of these devices as an educational tool. No dome required, and its unbelievable. The only downside is that the manual is entirely in Japanese.

#2 Brian B.

Brian B.

    Mariner 2

  • -----
  • Posts: 217
  • Joined: 26 Jul 2004

Posted 15 September 2005 - 07:44 PM

That is really cool. I'd buy one right now if it were being offered from a larger seller that I have had experience with - like Amazon or one of the bigger astronomy shops.

Brian B.

#3 Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*

Guest_**DONOTDELETE**_*
  • -----

Posted 15 September 2005 - 08:07 PM

I like it, even for night light

#4 jayscheuerle

jayscheuerle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,681
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posted 04 April 2008 - 10:29 AM

They have a new home version of this, with fewer features, but the same images for $139. It's called the Homestar Pure Planetarium. You can find it on ebay or here.

- j

#5 Zoomster

Zoomster

    Vendor - Clear Sky Adventures

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,107
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2005

Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:32 AM

Would this work projected onto a dome? We use a Starlab system at the museum but the projector leaves alot to be desired, basically a tin can and a flashlight system. This would be a great inexpensive upgrade if it worked on an inflatable dome.

#6 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:55 AM

Besides projectors, there are also HOMESTAR PSP.

The inventor, Mr. Takayuki Ohira, made his first planetarium projector when he was in primary school. In 1985, as a high school student, he finished the project of making a projector which could show 6300 stars. After a year, he successfully made another projector. It showed almost 16000 star.

In 1998, he broke the record by issuing MEGASTAR, a device that could show 1700000 stars. In 2003 and 2004, he pushed the limit to 5000000 stars, up to 12.5 magnitude.

He shocked the society at the time. There were even a soap opera based on his biography.

Posted Image
Cover of the biography, Make a wish to the stars, 7 tatamis breed 4100000 stars

His personal site is here.

FujiTV and Disney co-operation

#7 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:15 AM

My little planetarium projector...

Posted Image
Long time exposure...

Again it was designed by Takayuki Ohira. This is a pinhole-type, projecting 10000 stars on the wall. Powered by 4 AA batteries. The stars are dim.

Science for Adults magazine Vol. 09

#8 jayscheuerle

jayscheuerle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,681
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posted 10 April 2008 - 12:01 PM

My Homestar PURE Planetarium came in today and while I've only gotten a chance to check it out in the closet here (darn office lights!), I was kind of surprised at the cartoony nature of the stars. Not that they didn't vary in size and there weren't a LOT of them, but they ARE little circles. I guess I was hoping for something more photographic in nature.

Well, I'll reserve final judgment until I get this thing home. It certainly is cute looking! - j

#9 jayscheuerle

jayscheuerle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,681
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posted 11 April 2008 - 12:38 PM

At home it looked a bit better projected onto the ceiling or a wall. The non-realistic nature, combined with distortions and the fact that all of the stars are of equal brightness (but not size) and pure white, made it difficult to spot the constellations.

Still, it did elicit some of the feeling you get from being under the stars. Some were real tiny pinpoints.

I'm hoping to try putting some transparencies under there and seeing if I can get a nice high-res wide-field shot for a more satisfying experience. Having one of those ultra-high res shots of M42 from the Hubble (342MB!) would be neat too.

When I first got this at work, I thought I'd keep all the packaging so that I could resell it, but I think I'm going to keep it now. My wife likes it, and that's more than I can say about any EP or scope I've bought! - j

#10 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:37 AM

At home it looked a bit better projected onto the ceiling or a wall. The non-realistic nature, combined with distortions and the fact that all of the stars are of equal brightness (but not size) and pure white, made it difficult to spot the constellations.

Still, it did elicit some of the feeling you get from being under the stars. Some were real tiny pinpoints.

I'm hoping to try putting some transparencies under there and seeing if I can get a nice high-res wide-field shot for a more satisfying experience. Having one of those ultra-high res shots of M42 from the Hubble (342MB!) would be neat too.

When I first got this at work, I thought I'd keep all the packaging so that I could resell it, but I think I'm going to keep it now. My wife likes it, and that's more than I can say about any EP or scope I've bought! - j


According to dealers, the PURE is accompanied with two projection discs: the one with constellation figure and the one without. All PURE versions project colorless stars, whereas the PRO one can project stars with colors (brighter than 4 magnitude). PRO is much expensive than PURE.

Pro is the improved version of original HOMESTAR, with better distortion control, 3W white LED (instead of 1W), a moon projection disc, and some no big deal changes (tutorial CD, stargazing booklet, useful only if you are Japanese).

It seems customers can purchase specific projection disc for their own projector.

http://www.segatoys....tar/genban.html

#11 Zoomster

Zoomster

    Vendor - Clear Sky Adventures

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1,107
  • Joined: 30 Jan 2005

Posted 12 April 2008 - 08:54 AM

Anyone know if this would project correctly on a 8 foot dome? I would love to replace our old, old projector for our StarLab...

Kurt

#12 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 12 April 2008 - 10:21 AM

Anyone know if this would project correctly on a 8 foot dome? I would love to replace our old, old projector for our StarLab...

Kurt


I don't think it can do the job well. Firstly, it is designed for projecting stars on a wall rather a dome. Projecting on a dome may result out-focus images, as well as distorted constellation figures.

To ensure the image quality, the recommended project distance range between 2 meters to 2.3 meters (HOMESTAR and HOMESTAR PRO). I don't know if this is too short for a dome.

Secondly, the main function of the projector is just filling the wall with stars. This is not a traditional planetarium projector, it cannot show positions of the planets, nor stimulate the sky at specific time and date. It shows the night sky like circular star chart of Planisphere. I don't think it can stimulate the actual night sky of your nation even you adjust the project angle.

However it is not that bad for education. At least you don't need a dome, just turn off the light and show students with stars inside classroom. If you just want your students familiarize the constellations, I think it is OK.

#13 Spoonsize

Spoonsize

    DURHAM 157494

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,568
  • Joined: 27 Aug 2004

Posted 12 April 2008 - 04:51 PM

I'm not sure if any of you are interested, but there are some fairly knowledgeable guys that hang out in some planetarium forums that are a part of www.observatorycentral.com
Most, if not all of your questions could be answered real quick over there.

#14 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 13 April 2008 - 12:04 PM

Once again the Japanese successfully mix business with astronomy.

Healing Moon.
http://www.e-revolut...index2.html#anq

#15 Tom L

Tom L

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 31,061
  • Joined: 07 Jan 2004

Posted 13 April 2008 - 12:31 PM

That's cool!

#16 jayscheuerle

jayscheuerle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,681
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posted 15 April 2008 - 12:04 PM

HERE 's a review of the Pro versus the non-pro. - j

#17 Reverie

Reverie

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 387
  • Joined: 27 Mar 2008

Posted 06 May 2008 - 09:22 AM

Besides projectors, there are also HOMESTAR PSP.


A planetarium software for NDS is scheduled to release this summer. This one is developed by AstroArts, not SEGA.

http://www.google.co...l=zh-TW&ie=UTF8

#18 Airrider

Airrider

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 13
  • Joined: 27 Apr 2008

Posted 13 May 2008 - 12:07 AM

I dunno about anyone else, but a Sega planetarium makes me think of something built with R360 technology and wakes up bad Wing War memories...yikes. I can just imagine how well that would pan over.

Swirling out of control through a painfully-polygonal starry sky...gimbals and spinning viewer compartment making the toughest stomach go all to rubber...

...but seriously, that AstroArts thing looks cool, as does the Homestar PSP. And the Homestar projector sounds pretty good as well. I had no idea that flat walls could be used before with certain projector styles, so this is a nice little wake-up.

Outta curiosity, Reverie, is it just me, or is that projector you've shown dividing the stars into little squares?

#19 GlennLeDrew

GlennLeDrew

    Hubble

  • *****
  • Posts: 15,850
  • Joined: 17 Jun 2008

Posted 23 June 2008 - 01:37 AM

Zoomster,
I suspect that the Homestar lens could project at as small as a 45 degree angle, possibly 60, and 90 tops, so in a dome you'd illuminate a pretty small sector nowhere close to the usual 180 degree hemisphere. I'd be willing to bet, though, that because of the fairly short focal length and/or numerical aperture of the lens, focus would not be a problem on the curved dome surface--the depth of field should be able to accommodate it.

I'm surprised that you think of the Starlab as being inadequate in some way. For what it is, I feel it delivers a pretty good star field. At least the cylinder which employs collimation lenses for the brightest stars.

Here's one thing I strongly suggest you do for a *much* more realistic presentation, if you don't already. And that's to not have the dome as black as the hobbs of Hades. A really dark interior actually detracts from the effect. Try out a neutral, diffuse illuminator to fill the dome with an even glow more like the real night sky (even the the darkest sky is surprisingly bright). The stars will almost magically appear sharper, and the brightness range will be more realistically represented. Moreover, by varying the brightness, you can effectively simulate light pollution MUCH more dramatically that with the so-called Urban Starfield cylinder.

I tried this out for the first time by simply aiming my flashlight downward at the carpet. The scattered light nicely filled the dome with an even "sky glow."

Cheers!

#20 jayscheuerle

jayscheuerle

    Aurora

  • *****
  • Posts: 4,681
  • Joined: 16 Jan 2006

Posted 11 July 2008 - 03:35 PM

Just got back from the Franklin Institute's Fels Planetarium and I swear my Homestar PURE had more and crisper stars. Of course, the planetarium had the dome and the 180° projection, but it looked soft and the Milky way was simply a grey wash with no granularity. The added affects were great, but when it came to feeling like I was under the stars, the Homestar struck a better chord.

Surprising!! - j

(of course, I'm assuming this is simply pointing to the fact that the Franklin Institute needs to update their planetarium. They used to have a "Giant Ant" (Zeiss Optical), but have gone digital, which seems to be code for *BLEEP*.)

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2513217-pure.jpg



CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics