Examining Perceptions Of Astronomy Images Across Mobile Platforms

In the first of two follow-up Aesthetics & Astronomy studies from 2010, an online survey and focus groups were used to explore whether mobile platforms affect perception of astronomy images. In the online study, participants on their mobile devices were randomly assigned to view astronomy images. Two focus groups were also conducted with experts and non-expert volunteers. Both groups were presented with deep space images across platforms- a large projection screen, an iPad, and an iPhone. Results indicated that there was support for Smith & Smith’s 2001 concept of facsimile accommodation in that, as might be expected, bigger was better except in the absence of a comparison, where participants adapted to the platform size. The results, which raise questions as to both size and quality of images on mobile platforms in a rapidly changing technological world, were accepted to the JCOM Science Communication journal.

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