Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 21, 2000Volume 28, Number 17

John Maisano, a technical illustrator at the Peabody Museum, painted this image of Mars to publicize the new exhibit. The Peabody will host a day of free family activities to celebrate the opening of its exhibit on the "Red Planet." The maps on view in the exhibit were created using sophisticated technology.

Peabody Museum's 'Martian Perspectives'
exhibit offers 3-D views of the 'Red Planet'

Earthlings have been examining Mars through telescopes for centuries now, but to view a new exhibit about the Red Planet at the Peabody Museum of Natural History, visitors will instead need 3-D glasses.

For centuries, mapmakers have struggled to portray a three-dimensional world in only two dimensions. In the maps featured in the Peabody exhibit -- titled "Martian Perspectives: 3-D Images of the Red Planet" -- that ideal is achieved by combining high technology with human binocular vision.

The maps in the show were created by using powerful computers to transform satellite photographs of Mars into anaglyphs, two similar views of a given terrain from slightly different angles printed on the same medium using the colors red and cyan. Viewed with 3-D glasses, the maps provide distortion-free, three-dimensional images of the planet surface. This revolutionary cartographic technique, known as Ambroziak Infinite Perspective Projection™, was developed by brothers Jeffrey R. and Brian M. Ambroziak, founders of Ambroziak Third Dimension Technologies, Inc., along with Dr. Russell Ambroziak. It is currently used by NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Visitors to "Martian Perspectives" will get an in-depth view of the "Canyons of Mars," a landscape that is dominated by the Tharsis Bulge, a 6-mile-high summit, and the volcano Olympus Mons, which has a peak reaching a height of nearly 11 miles (Mt. Everest, in comparison, is 5.5 miles high).

The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday, Jan. 22 and will remain on view indefinitely. Karl K. Turekian, professor of geology and geophysics, and curator of meteorites and planetary science at the Peabody Museum, curated the Mars exhibit. The Ambroziak Infinite Perspective Projection™ images in this exhibit are provided courtesy of Ambroziak Third Dimension Technologies, Inc. Underwriting for the 3-D glasses used in the exhibit has been provided by Wiggin & Dana.

To celebrate the opening of "Martian Perspectives," the Peabody will host a day of free family programs on Jan. 22. The event will begin at 11 a.m. with a new Roxi Fox puppet theater presentation, "Mystery on Mars."

The Martian Medley Film Fest, an afternoon of 3-D science fiction film classics, will begin at 1 p.m. The featured films will include the 1953 science fiction classics "Invaders from Mars" and "It Came From Outer Space." Between the two screenings, at 3 p.m., Jeffrey and Brian Ambroziak will talk about mapmaking, 3-D imaging and Martian geography. The brothers will also sign copies of their book, "Infinite Perspectives: Two Thousand Years of Three-Dimensional Mapmaking," which features an introduction by Ray Bradbury.

The Peabody Museum of Natural History is located at 170 Whitney Ave. It is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults; $3 for children ages 3-15 and senior citizens age 65 and older. Parking is available in the Peabody Visitor Parking Lot located at the south end of Yale Lot #22 (accessible from Whitney Avenue, one block north of the museum). For directions, events, or other information call the InfoTape at (203) 432-5050 or visit the museum's website at http://www.peabody.yale.edu.


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