NASA’s selfie, virtual reality apps launch you into space


    The Spitzer telescope has provided views into regions where stars are born. This image shows newborn stars beneath their natural blanket of dust in the Rho Ophiuchi dark cloud. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

    For all you selfie and virtual reality lovers, NASA has created two new apps that puts you in a virtual spacesuit and takes you to various cosmic locations, like the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

    Just snap a photo of yourself, pick a background – there’s 30 eye-popping images to choose from – and share it on social media. The app also gives you a brief overview of the science behind each image.

    The app is available for iOS and Android.

    Or, if you’re tired of these pesky smoky skies in Washington state, put on your virtual reality glasses and go out of this world – literally. Users of this app are navigated around five Earth-size planets, surrounded by the blackness of space and faint lights of distant stars.

    The virtual reality experience features artists' impressions of what these planets might look like, as it’s too far away for telescopes to directly observe them. The app is available for Vive virtual reality headsets and soon Oculus.

    WATCH: 360-degree view of these planets. If viewing with a Google Cardboard, a smartphone-based 360-viewer, then the images become much more interactive.

    These apps were created in honor of the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. It has been gradually drifting further away from Earth and making some incredible discoveries, like finding two of the most distant super-massive black holes.

    Spitzer identified two of the most distant super-massive black holes, giving us a glimpse into the history of galaxy formation in the universe. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


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