NASA is letting people take space selfies and tours in outer space after launching two new free applications. With the help of a new selfie app, you can automatically take snapshots in the virtual spacesuit. That appears to be around the large cosmic atmosphere, such as the Helix Nebula and the Milky Way. These apps also provide information about science-related secrets behind amazing photos.
NASA announced they launched two free interactive apps available to iOS and Android via the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Spitzer Space Telescope’s launch in a Wednesday release. The NASA Space Selfies app dresses users in a virtual space suit and lets them place a photo of themselves against any one of 30 images provided by the Spitzer. NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions Virtual Reality app allows users to take a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.
NASA Space Selfies app
The new NASA Selfies app lets you generate snapshots of yourself in a virtual spacesuit, posing in front of gorgeous cosmic locations, like the Orion Nebula or the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. The simple interface means you just snap a photo of yourself, pick your background, and share on social media.
The app also provides information about the science behind these stunning images. There are currently 30 eye-catching images to choose from, all taken by Spitzer. More images from the agency’s other science and human spaceflight missions will be added in the future.
The interface of the application is simple and has a total of three buttons. One button is for snapping horizontal selfies, one button is for selecting a background and the last button allows the photo to be saved to a user’s gallery.
NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions VR app
In NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions virtual reality app, VR users are taken on a guided tour of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary system.
TRAPPIST-1 is the only known exoplanet system to host seven roughly Earth-size planets. Spitzer played a major role in detecting these planets and providing information that has helped scientists learn about the planets’ likely compositions. The TRAPPIST-1 system is too far away for telescopes to directly observe these planets, but this VR experience features artists’ impressions of what the planets might look like. These impressions are based on data from Spitzer and other telescopes that have studied the TRAPPIST-1 system.
Users of the app are navigated around five of the seven planets, surrounded by the blackness of space and the faint lights of distant stars.
The VR app will be available for Oculus and Vive through the Spitzer mission website and will soon be available through the Oculus store. A 360-degree video is also be available on the Spitzer Youtube page that allows viewers to explore the virtual TRAPPIST-1 system on their desktop, smartphone or with a smartphone-based 360-viewer like Google Cardboard.
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