On the occasion of Herschel end of post-operations event at ESAC (European Space Astronomy Centre), the Space Division of Nubalo Studios, as part of the CESAR project, and in collaboration with the ESDC (ESAC Science Data Centre) has created a Virtual Reality Application to commemorate the mission, approaching Herschel’s observations to the public. With this app you can watch some videos of the mission and access information about the observatory, but by far, the best function is a 360º HiPS map with PACS and SPIRE observations.

Herschel was an ESA (European Space Agency) Space Observatory partnered with NASA. From 2009 to 2013 it observed in the far infrared and submillimetre wavebands with three instruments: HIFI, PACS and SPIRE, making big discoveries concerning star formation and water origins. Our App uses HiPS (Hierarchical Progressive Surveys) maps created with those two last instruments to generate an interactive 360º environment.

With the app, you can move around a map of the universe created by Herschel’s instruments, zoom in to see some details, and switch wavelengths. The observations are visually attractive and accessible to anyone. The app is user friendly and both compatible with standard OS such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, macOS, Windows and Linux, and with Virtual Reality platforms like Oculus, Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard. So you can keep it simple explore it in a standard screen or go for the full 3D experience and use a VR device. However you decide to do it, we hope you enjoy this infrared vision of space astronomy.

Moreover the app contains HiPS maps at other wavebands from many other ESA missions, so if you enjoy exploring the Universe navigating through this immersive experience you have data for hundreds of hours more.


Cover Image © ESA