Solar System: Things to Know This Week
From images to virtual reality and interactive simulations, NASA offers plenty of ways to explore our solar system – and beyond – in 3-D.
1. Step One: Get the Glasses
Many of the images and interactive features require special glasses with red and blue lenses.
- Make regular 3-D glasses: http://go.nasa.gov/2lwQOoP
- Make fancy Mars rover 3-D glasses: http://go.nasa.gov/2lwEmWe
2. Breaking News (Virtual Reality Edition)
Big news from 40 light-years away (235 trillion miles). Our Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, all of them have the potential for water on their surfaces.
No glasses required.
- Get to know one of those planets, TRAPPIST-1d in virtual reality: http://go.nasa.gov/2ldaGKY
- Try the virtual reality panorama (especially great for a phone or tablet):
This image was created by combining two images from STEREO B (Feb. 24, 2008) taken about 12 hours apart, during which the sun’s rotation provides sufficient perspective to create a nice 3-D effect.
3. Free-Range 3-D Exploration
Our Eyes on the Solar System app allows free exploration of Earth, our Solar System and thousands of worlds discovered orbiting distant stars. And, you also can explore it all in 3-D!
Under visual controls just check 3-D, pop on your glasses and explore.
- Download Eyes on the Solar System: http://eyes.nasa.gov/
4. Your Star in 3-D
The STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory) mission studied the sun in 3-D with twin satellites.
- Explore the Stereo 3D gallery: http://go.nasa.gov/2ldrzFv
5. National Parks in 3-D
The Earth-orbiting Terra satellite’s Multiangle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument provides 3-D views while orbiting Earth, including some great shots of our National Parks.
- Go to the parks: http://go.nasa.gov/2bk5XHP
6. Get in the Pilot’s Seat
Take a look inside the cockpit of our high altitude ER-2 aircraft as it descends for landing at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. This month, scientists used used the aircraft to collect data on coral reef health and volcanic emissions and eruptions. Flying at 65,000 feet, above 95 percent of Earth’s atmosphere, the ER-2 has a unique ability to replicate the data a future satellite could collect. Data from this mission will help in developing a planned NASA satellite mission to study natural hazards and ecosystems called Hyperspectral Infrared Imager, or HyspIRI.
7. Moon Views
The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter creates 3-D images from orbit by taking an image of the moon from one angle on one orbit and a different angle on a separate orbit.
- See the results: http://go.nasa.gov/2lvooeZ
This stereo scene looking back at where Curiosity crossed a dune at “Dingo Gap” combines several exposures taken by the Navigation Camera (Navcam) high on the rover’s mast.
8. Martian 3D
Our Mars fleet of rovers and orbiters captures the Red Planet from all angles - often in 3-D.
- Suit up and start exploring: http://go.nasa.gov/2lddjN4
9. Saturn in 3-D
The Cassini spacecraft’s mission to Saturn is well-known for its stunning images of the planet and its complex system of rings and moons. Now you can see some of them in 3-D.
- See Saturn: http://go.nasa.gov/2mCQhiZ
10. Want More? Do It Yourself!
Put a new dimension to your vacation photos. Our Mars team created this handy how-to guide to making your own eye-popping 3-D images.
- Get started: http://go.nasa.gov/2lddc46
Why stop with images? The Ames Research Center hosts a vast collection of 3-D printable models ranging from the moon craters to spacecraft.
- Start printing: http://go.nasa.gov/2ldsMg1
Discover more lists of 10 things to know about our solar system HERE.
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