Space exploration and Astronomy are topics that tap into a deeply emotional sense of wonder in all of us; to start to perceive our world as one glint in the vast swirl of the Milky Way Galaxy (and beyond!) is mind-blowing.
Ever since Galileo Galilei first sketched the moons of Jupiter, images and media of objects beyond our orbit, generated through increasingly sophisticated technology have brought our solar system and the wider universe into coruscating focus, fuelling our imaginations and transporting us to new worlds.
With the remarkable work of teams around the world releasing a constant stream of space-related content, whether it be the vivid images from spacecraft like Voyager and Cassini, to alluring Martian sunsets captured by the Rovers or the ‘cosmic fireworks’ observed through space telescopes like Hubble, creative tech companies like us now have access to the most amazingly engaging scientific data combined with cosmic majesty which we can use to tell these stories in an accessible and understandable way.
Our technology offers a native planetary shape for this content, increasing the potency of education surrounding the subject as it can be visualised and interacted with in its inherent format (sorry flat earthers!).
The species defining act of landing that first Man on the Moon is just one of the many reasons that we love NASA, and are always proud that we can call them a client. However, even with plans for a return trip to the Moon on the agenda, it doesn’t seem likely that many of us will get the chance to actually be transported to another world in person. Luckily for us though, we have developed some applications to help transport these unseen, unvisited realms here to us, all while keeping our feet firmly on the ground.
In light of the 50thAnniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon, our first footfall on another world, we felt it was the right occasion to take one small step and pay tribute with a Pufferfish creation that helped bring us all a little closer to walking on the moon.
Delving into contemporary media of all kinds, Pufferfish boldly built an intuitive, interactive and informative application to celebrate their achievement; the app allows users to take a closer look at this familiar icon of so many myths, songs, films, and day dreams. Using the touch functionality to manipulate information at their own pace, users could explore the lunar geography and geological features, view landing sites at their finger-tips, and toggle between views of topography, temperature and visible light to reveal new sides to a familiar face.
An additional custom integration with an ultrawide curve screen by our friends at Igloo, even offered a view the landscape of the Moon at eye level. But the released media also allowed us to include another, more human story, that of Incorporating key information about the Astronauts who risked their lives, the spaceship that transported them to unknown pastures, and what they found out about themselves and the Universe when taking “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
If we can take you to the Moon, why can’t we take you further? Make way then for our very own Interstellar application that does exactly that. Created in-house by an expert technical duo, and showcasing all the planets in the Solar System as well as our majestic Sun, the app brings space to your fingertips.
Users can explore the solar system, drill down on the Moon’s craters, see 3D animations of the planets in orbit, see Jupiter’s atmosphere, and so much more. Scientific information, imagination, and user led-learning all converge, on stage set to dwarf all others.
Our trail blazing Developer, Adam Kale and Interstellar co-creator says of the ‘labour of love’ application: “We get to create worlds that are rare to find in software. We can give people the opportunity to experience space planet by planet, and offer something truly fantastical. Interstellar was all about engaging the user, captivating their attention and allowing people to see corners of space that haven’t yet been seen.”
Marcus Wheat, our resident Motion Graphics pro (and award-winning pro at that!) and Interstellar co-creator says of the application: “I get to make things beautiful, to make art. I get to put a visual perspective on things that have sometimes never been seen with a human eye; so it’s about making the unseen, seen, and the untouchable, touchable. Interstellar is ever evolving and ever growing, and it’s great to see people respond in such a positive way to our creations.”
Stories about our place in the Universe are stories set within and around spheres; all around us the story of life is read in chapters of our atmosphere, and its fragility in a tale of a pale blue dot. Looking up above us, the story of our place in the universe is mapped in the celestial sphere; orbits within orbits; moons, planets and stars all sculpted into near perfect spheres, all balanced against the scale of a Universe, which extends, as the sphere expands endlessly, in all directions to infinity...
... As we explore ever deeper and are rewarded with ever more stunning vistas, what better medium than an interactive spherical display to make these previously unimaginable realms a reality. As Interstellar evolves and expands it will incorporate fully interactive versions of all of the other planets and moons in the Solar System, and why stop there? The end result will offer audiences the chance to interact with each and every planet, at their own pace, and will bring these unreachable worlds within touching distance. These apps make space a place we can all explore.
At Pufferfish, our zeal for space and astronomy will always continue to grow. The intrigue of space, of other worlds, is something we will continue to translate for our displays with a passion.
So watch this space, literally, as we continue to explore this topic with real Gravi(tas)!