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NASA released an impressive desktop app a few years ago called “NASA Eye Visualization” that allowed you to check out the solar system, along with all the spacecraft that explore it. But who installs programs anymore? It recently went online and now has an updated interface and tools. Just head over to “A look at the solar system” on your device of choice and start exploring.

The main interface of the new site is simply the orbits of the planets, color-coded with highlights to show you their current positions. The layout is accurate to the current time, but you can use the buttons or the slider at the bottom to advance or rewind the time. It reaches three years per second. You should understand that this rebuild was supposed to coincide with NASA’s Artemis program, but it’s taking a little longer than expected to start.

In addition to the clickable solar system overview, there are several suggested “points of interest” on the side of the screen. These are all along the same lines as the Eyes on the Solar System engine, but some (like the Perseverance landing simulation) are loaded on a separate page.

You can click on anything depicted in the interface to zoom in and center your view. An information panel will also appear to give you relevant information and links to content and research history on NASA sites. Some planets also have unique rendering options. For example, clicking on Venus gives you the option to view it in its natural cloudy state or with radar mapping of the surface.

Clicking on space probes is also a treat – the site shows you live spacecraft location and mission stages, plus there’s a tool to compare the size of different probes. This will feel strangely familiar if you’ve ever played Kerbal Space Program.

Eyes also works well on mobile.

Eyes on the Solar System seems pretty platform agnostic. If you load the site on your phone, it will work just as well, if not better. The touch interface is convenient to scroll and rotate around your target, and points of interest shrink down to give you more room to explore in the palm of your hand.

The updated eye tool, noticed by HotHardware, could be a great way to keep an eye on Artemis 1 when it launches. He should have been in space by now, on his way to the moon. However, a series of last-minute problems caused another delay. NASA’s new megarocket will have another chance to appear in the Eyes later this year.

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https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/339343-nasas-revamped-eyes-on-the-solar-system-lets-you-explore-space-in-your-browser

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