NASA has released its “Eyes on the Solar System” 3D environment, a free web browser-based application that lets you navigate a 3D version of the solar system. The app uses video game technology to let you control your point of view from anywhere in our solar system, speeding up time so you can see the motion of the planets, their satellites and NASA spacecraft.
We tried the Eyes on the Solar System app (download here), which first requires a download of the Unity Web Player for Mac and PC. Once you’ve done that, you can fly around beautifully produced models of all the planets, asteroids and the Sun. Or you can enter custom modules created by NASA that highlight missions such as Juno, the recently launched probe that’s currently on a five-year mission to Jupiter.
According to NASA:
“This is the first time the public has been able to see the entire solar system and our missions moving together in real time,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “It demonstrates NASA’s continued commitment to share our science with everyone.”
You can even keep tabs on the current locations of NASA spacecraft, with the help of NASA’s actual mission data. Don’t forget to click the Full Screen button for the full effect. Fantastic stuff.