Mapping the Universe

January 1st, 1999 - December 31st, 2001 | PROJECT

The Film Arts Foundation is producing a science documentary film to present accurate renditions of the local part of the Universe in a form accessible to the public. While work on our knowledge of the network structure of the universe has been rapidly growing over the past 20 years, there have been only rudimentary attempts to convey this information to the public because of the technical complexities that have made it a challenge to create an accurate display that is understandable by the lay person. New technological advances have greatly allieviated that problem. The high resolution animation in the series is being created by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. This prime-time television series will be produced in high-definition television and will be broadcast as part of the NOVA series on PBS. Ancillary material for use by viewers and schools is being developed by the Museum of Science in Boston. Additional project elements will include a set of half-hour programs called "What's Up in the Universe" for younger viewers. This series begins with discoveries of the properties of the Earth, then steps outward progressively until by the sixth program the audience is introduced to the scale of the universe. A paper and CD-ROM Atlas of the Nearby Universe provides easy access to important information and views of the universe and will allow users to choose from an index of rendered flights through space.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

R. Brent Tully, Principal Investigator, University of Hawaii
Susan Friedman, Co-Principal Investigator, Film Arts Foundation
Thomas Lucas, Co-Principal Investigator, Film Arts Foundation


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 9814279
Funding Amount: 1604964


Audience: General Public | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Space science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Media and Technology