Augmented Reality in Astrophysics

Research paper by Frédéric P. A. Vogt, Luke J. Shingles

Indexed on: 23 May '13Published on: 23 May '13Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics


Augmented Reality consists of merging live images with virtual layers of information. The rapid growth in the popularity of smartphones and tablets over recent years has provided a large base of potential users of Augmented Reality technology, and virtual layers of information can now be attached to a wide variety of physical objects. In this article, we explore the potential of Augmented Reality for astrophysical research with two distinct experiments: (1) Augmented Posters and (2) Augmented Articles. We demonstrate that the emerging technology of Augmented Reality can already be used and implemented without expert knowledge using currently available apps. Our experiments highlight the potential of Augmented Reality to improve the communication of scientific results in the field of astrophysics. We also present feedback gathered from the Australian astrophysics community that reveals evidence of some interest in this technology by astronomers who experimented with Augmented Posters. In addition, we discuss possible future trends for Augmented Reality applications in astrophysics, and explore the current limitations associated with the technology. This Augmented Article, the first of its kind, is designed to allow the reader to directly experiment with this technology.