Are you a student or just a fan of Astronomy? Want to learn more about our solar system but can’t afford to build your own space faring vessel? 3D Solar System will come to your rescue as a valuable and fun resource to learn and reference data on our local solar system in a gorgeous 3D display.
While there are plenty of books and online pages available to learn more about our solar system (Wikipedia is not considered a reliable or quotable source by most schools but it does contain plenty of information if you don’t care how accurate it might be) there are relatively few ways to visualize this material without paying for some kind of an encyclopedia program or other learning tool of that sort. 3D Solar System Web is a great alternative to spending your hard earned cash on any of those programs and it’s certainly more reliable than many of the other free references. To prove it’s reliability, it even shows you the exact calculations and formula that are used to give the various points of data on each celestial body.
The program itself is quite simple to use. It requires a mouse (prefer a three button, at least) and a keyboard, and sound capability is recommended to be able to take advantage of the text to speech and the video instructions on how to use the program/site. Video capabilities don’t have to be very high, and there are various different settings that will let you conform the rendering to your own system’s hardware such as using bloom or film grain filters or not. There are pre-made tours of the solar system that will take you from one spot to the next and give you information on each point in small pop-up windows. You can also create your own tours for whatever you desire, including school reports and other academia.
While the information on offer is quite useful, it’s also just a tiny bit limited as it gives only the stats for each celestial body or location and a short snippet of further info at the bottom of the screen. Therefore I would recommend this program/site for those who are in high school before I’d suggest it to those in college. But, for those that are just starting out or just want to verify some fact for a bar bet or other simple information this is a fantastic reference that allows you to visualize the data at the same time and costs nothing to use.
Overall, I love this site. The only things lacking that I would like to see would be a mobile version and perhaps a method to take a clean screenshot for those of us that want that kind of thing for desktop backgrounds and such. Check it out for yourself and see if you don’t have a good time swooping from planet to planet and seeing what’s out there! Until next time, my friends!
- Check out 3D Solar System Web here.