Take a trip through the Solar System by just sitting at your computer. NASA has released a new interactive and free web-based application that allows users to explore the solar system. The Eyes on the Solar System provides a 3D environment full of NASA's mission data that allows users to see the solar system in real time.
Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time, states the post on the NASA Web site.
The application combines video-game technology, real images and NASA data to let you control your journey from anywhere in the solar system. Screen graphics and information on planet locations and spacecraft maneuvers use actual space mission data to provide a realistic experience.
You can see the solar system moving in real time or travel through time and even speed up time to see the motion of the planets, their satellites and NASA spacecraft.
The tool has NASA data dating back to 1950 and projected to 2050. The playback rate can be sped up or slowed down, reports ANI. For instance, users could look ahead to see the five-year journey by NASA's Juno spacecraft to Jupiter in just a matter of seconds.
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.
Using the keyboard and mouse controls, users can explore anything in space that grabs their attention. Dozens of controls on a series of pop-up menus allow users to fully customize what they see, and video and audio tutorials explain how to use the tool's many options added the ANI report. Users may choose from 2-D or 3-D modes.
The Eyes on the Solar System app requires a download of the Unity Web Player for Mac and PC.
Check out the app at http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/eyes/intro.html