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Horoskopos (2022 — in development)

Virtual planetarium

 

Horoskopos is the project for a virtual astrological planetarium. It shows a simulation of the real sky and allows users to visualize astrological concepts and symbols in the sky. It is a Master's Thesis project for obtaining a degree in M.F.A. Media, Art and Design at the Bauhaus University Weimar. It is being developed in Unity3D.

Credits:

César Daher - Design and programming

Jason Reizner - Advisor

Gianluca Pandolfo - Second advisor

Pedro Joffily - Visual identity

 

Concept

This project builds on the research developed in the Manual Horoscope project in understanding astrological charts as 2D representations of celestial phenomena. It is also greatly inspired by Stellarium and the In The Sky web apps, which provide sky simulations for visualization purposes. Horoskopos represents a reintegration between astronomical observation and astrological language by allowing users to visualize the sky together with its astrological significations.

The name Horoskopos refers to a time when there wasn't a clear distinction between astrology and astronomy. It comes from the early greek hōroskopos (“hour-marker”), which was originally used to refer to the Ascendant or rising point, the key feature that originated astrological charts.

In a similar manner to birth chart calculators, Horoskopos calculates the positions of planets relative to the Earth and positions them along the zodiac. Additionally, it also calculates astrological houses and draws them relative to the horizon. The user can then use the camera to observe the sky in all directions.

Gif of Horoskopos' rotating along the horizon, showing all the cardinal points.
Horoscope elements
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The lines and symbols drawn over the simulated sky are all taken from the structure of a horoscope (astrological chart).

Users of Horoskopos will be able to use it to understand better the significations of their birth chart, for example. They will be able to identify the phase of the moon at that moment, or whether the Sun is obscuring certain planets.

Visualization modes

Horoskopos will contain a few visualization modes that can be used for different purpose.

  • The real sky mode shows the planets over a realistic sky, ideal for visualizing the day/night cycle.

  • The chart mode shows planets along the ecliptic line alongside their respective symbols and positions measured in degrees.
     

Animation

Horoskopos is also planned to feature the possibility to animate the sky over time at different speeds. This is an interesting feature in order to visualize how fast the planets rotate relative to the fixed stars and to each other. It also shows how the zodiac's alignment changes over time. Studying these movements is useful to understand the significations of astrological symbols.

 

Animation of Horoskopos in the real sky mode showing the sunrise.