Eyes on the Solar System is a NASA space tour full of real data, from the comfort of your home you can hop on an asteroid, fly with the Voyager 2 spacecraft or see the entire solar system moving in real time, the user gets to control space and time making it interactive and realistic.
Everything works inside the browser after installing the Unity 3D webplayer, a very small 500Kb plugin for MAC and PC often used by online games to help build a 3D world.
NASA Eyes on the Solar System
Space exploration is shown from your point of view, you can follow recently launched space missions in real time like the Juno and GRAIL missions, during the space exploration data like mission phase, distance from Earth and targets is displayed on the screen. It is possible to go back in time as far as 1950, future projected space data goes up to 2050. Tabs along the bottom let you pick your destination, time, speed and visually control your experience, to rotate your view just click and drag or zoom in and out. There is an introduction video quickly explaining how the controls work, or you can download more advanced tutorial videos.
It’s best to experience this solar system tour full screen, you will need broadband for a good experience and even then it could take a some seconds of wait for data to download. I really enjoyed this educative tool and it is a great way to learn about science in a personal way, where you get to choose what planet you want to go to, what to see and at what speed.
Visit NASA Eyes on the Solar System