New UCD app ‘personalises’ the night sky

Night Sky
A new app developed at UCD can personalise the night sky by showing it as it was on the day each of us was born, or married (Credit: Wikimedia)

Ever feel like you need your own space? In the night sky that is!

If so, you might be the type that is interested in what the night sky looked like overhead on the day you were born, got married in Australia, or when the Easter Rising broke out in Dublin?

If that’s your cup of tea, then you will be interested in a new ‘app’ called Personal Space developed by UCD astronomer Professor Lorraine Hanlon and artist Emer O’Boyle.

It has been possible for some time now for anyone with a laptop to tap into the robotic global network of telescopes through the EU-funded GLORIA project.

Personal Space takes things a stage further by personalizing the sky for users.

According to its developers, the app is “an online invitation to connect with and explore the universe in an intuitive way by presenting beautiful astronomical images of the sky overhead at key moments and places of personal significance”.

By inputting an event date, time and location (e.g. wedding date and place) through a web interface, the user is supplied with an image of the part of the universe that was directly above them at that significant moment in their life.

GLORIA scientists are building an archive of stories by geo-mapping political and historical events to the sky above.

The archival sky images are provided by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

For more information contact:

Prof. Lorraine Hanlon (Astronomer), UCD School of Physics, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. Email: Mobile: 085-7262888. Landline: +353-1-7162214.


Emer O Boyle (Artist), UCD School of Physics, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland. Email: Mobile: 087-2832483.