Project Description

Approach :
For a special press release on the breakthrough in the search for cosmic particle accelerators, the German Electron Synchotron DESY wanted to communicate this outstanding research event with its own visual interpretation.

Our approach was not only to create a static image, but also to show a series of high-quality animations to explain how neutrinos burst out of a supermassive black hole 2 billion light years away and are finally discovered on Earth. Our solution was not a single video, but an interactive microsite on the web. The user can follow the narrative of the neutrino’s journey himself. Designed like a one-pager scroll site, various animations can be experienced. Interactive storytelling par excellence.

The website should be viewed on a large screen and a fast computer, as the animations and renderings are very detailed and high resolution which demands some preloading:

More information on multimessenger research at the DESY website.

Concept, 3D Animation & Art Direction: Konrad Rappaport
Assistent 3D Animation: Stephan Schakulat
Interface Design and Web Development: Manuel Reitz
Project Supervision: Prof. Tom Duscher

List of parties involved:
The Liverpool Telescope
Kiso Observatory
Very Large Telescope
Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA)

Till Mundzeck, DESY

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

The key visual we created exclusively for DESY is an artistic 3D visualization of an active galactic nucleus. The super massive black hole in the middle of the accretion disk sends a narrow high-energy jet of matter into space, perpendicular to the disk. The detail and resolution of the visual is truly stunning, it absorbs the eye of the viewer.

You can download the visual here.
Credit: DESY, Science Communication Lab

With this key visual, animations and microsite, the press release of July 12, 2018 was a bang. Thanks to the DESY outreach team, the media coverage was enormous within a few hours. The visualization could be seen in different channels, from online newspaper pages to magazines to Instagram and Twitter. It even has become NASA astronomy picture of the day @apod!
It was a great success and proof of the concept we wanted to create: Not only to develop a single key visual, but a narrative across different media and channels. For us, it is confirmation that striving for excellent design is a real added value for the communication of scientific progress. Finally the blazar image is on the cover of the January 2019 edition of the Nature Astronomy magazine. What a blast!