Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia

Research Article

Future Directions in Astronomy Visualization

Christopher J. Flukea1 c1, Paul D. Bourkea1 and David O'Donovana1

a1 Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia


Despite the large budgets spent annually on astronomical research equipment such as telescopes, instruments, and supercomputers, the general trend is to analyze and view the resulting datasets using small, two-dimensional displays. We report here on alternative advanced image displays, with an emphasis on displays that we have constructed, including stereoscopic projection, multiple projector tiled displays, and a digital dome. These displays can provide astronomers with new ways of exploring the terabyte and petabyte datasets that are now regularly being produced from all-sky surveys, high-resolution computer simulations, and Virtual Observatory projects. We also present a summary of the Advanced Image Displays for Astronomy (AIDA) survey which we conducted from 2005 March–May, in order to raise some issues pertinent to the current and future level of use of advanced image displays.

(Received October 04 2005)

(Accepted February 17 2006)


  • methods: data analysis;
  • techniques: image processing;
  • astronomical data bases: miscellaneous


c1 Corresponding authors: Email: