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The Mining Museum learned how to move the Earth’s crust

шар проектор
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

It took hundreds of millions of years for geological processes to form a single supercontinent, Pangea, in the Late Paleozoic. About 220 million years ago, it split in two. Today, the six continents on Earth are very slowly but surely moving toward each other.

The Mining Museum now has the opportunity to visualize the history of the Earth's crust and its dynamics in the future, as well as many other natural processes on the Earth and other planets with its new acquisition - a digital demonstration complex with a spherical screen.

The innovative projector looks like a scaled-down copy of our planet. It is designed by the Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, based on its own software package ORBUS PRO. The Center staff prepared 80 working presentations for it. In addition to the models of lithospheric plates motion, these include, for example, the dynamic patterns of earth magnetic field changes, the display of the world ocean currents. The computer program allows you to adjust the parameters of the spherical animation, to control the movement during the presentation.

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© Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

The complex can be used both as an interactive museum exhibit and as educational equipment for the St. Petersburg Mining University, on the basis of which the museum was created and operates. The counter movement of museums and universities has become an important social trend today. The affinity of the Mining Museum with the oldest technical university in Russia gives it a clear advantage in this sense.

Universities in the XXI century have stepped far beyond their classic scientific and educational role. The development of their third mission is on the agenda. It consists of interacting with society in a broad sense. In many ways, the image of the modern museum is changing in a similar way.

In August this year, the International Council of Museums ICOM adopted a new definition of what a museum is. The emphasis on active participation in the life of communities was added. Modern exhibits do not just educate and entertain, they become a space of empathy. It is the multimedia technologies that can best incorporate the emotional component into the process of information perception.

шар проектор
© Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

Importantly, the ORBUS PRO allows the creation of self-contained presentations that are useful for educational purposes, museum work, and even more. For example, participants of specialized school circles will certainly be interested in multimedia programs on astronomy, ecology, and climate.

According to Mikhail Shabalov, the director of the Mining Museum, the complex can be used to visualize the reference of the exhibits to a certain geographical area or point on the map. If we talk about the connection between the museum and the university, good prospects are opening up in the sphere of additional professional education.

As is known, philosophy is the theoretical core of science as a whole. For specialists in the field of nature management, according to Alexei Egorov, head of the Department of Geophysics at Mining University, geotectonics is of similar systemic importance. This is exactly the direction where multimedia visualization is especially necessary.

Let's recall the Russian folk tale "The Tale of the Silver Saucer and the Filled Apple":

"The apple rolls on the saucer, poured on the silver one, and on the saucer you can see all the cities one after another, the ships on the seas and the regiments in the fields, and the height of the mountains and the beauty of the sky; the sun rolls after the sun, the stars gather in a circle - everything is so beautiful, so wonderful that you cannot tell a tale or write it in words."

Amazingly, Russian folklore has survived to the time when it becomes a reality that the twenty-first century cannot do without. It feels like grandma's tales set the paradigm for the movement. The synergy of science and exhibition activities at the Mining Museum transforms a traditional "storehouse of values" into a sociocultural laboratory.