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Proceedings Paper

Role of stereoscopic imaging in the astronomical study of nearby stars and planetary systems
Author(s): David S. Mark; Corby Waste
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Paper Abstract

The development of stereoscopic imaging as a 3D spatial mapping tool for planetary science is now beginning to find greater usefulness in the study of stellar atmospheres and planetary systems in general. For the first time, telescopes and accompanying spectrometers have demonstrated the capacity to depict the gyrating motion of nearby stars so precisely as to derive the existence of closely orbiting Jovian-type planets, which are gravitationally influencing the motion of the parent star. Also for the first time, remote space borne telescopes, unhindered by atmospheric effects, are recording and tracking the rotational characteristics of our nearby star, the sun, so accurately as to reveal and identify in great detail the heightened turbulence of the sun's corona. In order to perform new forms of stereo imaging and 3D reconstruction with such large scale objects as stars and planets, within solar systems, a set of geometrical parameters must be observed, and are illustrated here. The behavior of nearby stars can be studied over time using an astrometric approach, making use of the earth's orbital path as a semi- yearly stereo base for the viewing telescope. As is often the case in this method, the resulting stereo angle becomes too narrow to afford a beneficial stereo view, given the star's distance and the general level of detected noise in the signal. With the advent, though, of new earth based and space borne interferometers, operating within various wavelengths including IR, the capability of detecting and assembling the full 3-dimensional axes of motion of nearby gyrating stars can be achieved. In addition, the coupling of large interferometers with combined data sets can provide large stereo bases and low signal noise to produce converging 3- dimensional stereo views of nearby planetary systems. Several groups of new astronomical stereo imaging data sets are presented, including 3D views of the sun taken by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, coincident stereo views of the planet Jupiter during impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, taken by the Galileo spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as views of nearby stars. Spatial ambiguities arising in singular 2-dimensional viewpoints are shown to be resolvable in twin perspective, 3-dimensional stereo views. Stereo imaging of this nature, therefore, occupies a complementary role in astronomical observing, provided the proper fields of view correspond with the path of the orbital geometry of the observing telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3012, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IV, (15 May 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.274470
Show Author Affiliations
David S. Mark, The Planetary Society and Fluorescent Mineral Society (United States)
Corby Waste, The Planetary Society and Fluorescent Mineral Society (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3012:
Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems IV
Scott S. Fisher; John O. Merritt; Mark T. Bolas, Editor(s)

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