Kind of Google Earth but to the universe. The virtual reality world project (or Virup), an open source beta program that allows you to make virtual visits to the universe through 3D and panoramic views of space. Researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Federal of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have revealed that Virup allows you to reach destinations such as the International Space Station, the Moon, Saturn, extrasolar planets, beyond galaxies and more.
The project collects information from eight databases that count at least 4,500 known exoplanets, tens of millions of galaxies, hundreds of millions of space objects, and more than 1.5 billion light sources from the Milky Way alone. Software engineers, astrophysicists, and experts in experimental museology have developed the virtual map that can be viewed through individual VR devices, immersive systems such as panoramic cinemas with 3D glasses, planetarium screens, or simply on a computer for 2D viewing.
Everyone can access Virup for free, you need at least a PC and to view it at its best, you need VR equipment or 3D functionality. The EPFL team says VIRUP goes beyond current virtual reality games and representations, drawing on the most comprehensive data sets available to date, such as the Sloan Digital Sky survey in the US, the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission to map the Milky Way and Planck. A mission to observe the first light of the universe. “The novelty of this project was to put all the available data in one structure, where you can see the universe on a different scale: near us, around the earth, around the solar system, on the plane of the Milky Way, to see through the universe and get to the origin, what we call the explosion the greatexplained Jean-Paul Kneip, director of the EPFL Astrophysics Laboratory.
Virup aims to attract a wide range of visitors, scientists and a broad audience looking to explore the sky virtually. At the moment, the beta version cannot be run on a Mac computer.
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