Algebraic 3D Reconstruction of Planetary Nebulae

Stephan Wenger, Juan Aja Fernandez, Christophe Morisset, Marcus Magnor
TU Braunschweig
WSCG Conference Proceedings, 2009


   title={Algebraic 3D reconstruction of planetary nebulae},

   author={Wenger, S. and Fern{‘a}ndez, JA and Morisset, C. and Magnor, M.},

   booktitle={WSCG Conference Proceedings},




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Distant astrophysical objects like planetary nebulae can normally only be observed from a single point of view. Assuming a cylindrically symmetric geometry, one can nevertheless create 3D models of those objects using tomographic methods. We solve the resulting algebraic equations efficiently on graphics hardware. Small deviations from axial symmetry are then corrected using heuristic methods, because the arising 3D models are, in general, no longer unambiguously defined. We visualize the models using real-time volume rendering. Models for actual planetary nebulae created by this approach match the observational data acquired from the earth’s viewpoint, while also looking plausible from other viewpoints for which no experimental data is available.
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