Robot shows different view of space

Anthony Hellmueller

Audiences stare at a starry sky, looking 10 billion light-years into outer space.

They look through the eyes of a robot.

Western’s Hardin Planetarium is showing “Robot Eyes,” a program that showcases photography of the earth and its surrounding universe. The show is led by Physics and Astronomy professor Roger Scott.

Scott said that all pictures used in the program were taken by the television camera eye of a robot, which uses lenses called robot probes.

“We want to get as close as possible, but when you look out into the universe, 10 billion light years out, it’s intriguing,” Scott said.

Before starting the presentation, Scott gives the audience a brief history of different probes, like the Hubble Telescope, used to document and photograph outer space.

Scott then presents the profile of the solar system and a look at various constellations in the system with live narration.

He said he does not use a recording to allow himself to stop and answer questions from the audience.

He also said that the live versions are more updated, and more accurate.

The program will be offered until March 20.

Students who attended the show, like Memphis freshmen Cameron Yancey, said they enjoyed it. Yancey said he finds astronomy amazing and has been interested since he was young.

“It is fascinating to see what humans are capable of accomplishing,” he said.

The Hardin Planetarium offers many programs throughout the year. In the past, it has hosted programs like “The Star of Bethlehem” and “Motions of the Heavens.”

“Robot Eyes” differs from others because it shows many actual surface pictures in outer space, Scott said.

Scott said he enjoys the creativity of putting such programs together.

“I like to talk to people,” he said.

Reach Anthony Hellmueller at [email protected]