Life In 360°: Nebulous

Hello everybody and welcome to Wednesday here on VRFocus. I am back following a nice week off and following a brief takeover from colleague Peter Graham on Monday it’s time once again for me to dive into all things 360 degree video and serve up something for you to see care of another Life In 360°. And in the same seven days that Elon Musk sent a dummy driving a Tesla roadster up into space because, well, he’s Elon Musk and that’s the sort of thing, we too are going to look once again at the great beyond that is space.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoWe, however, are not going to be looking at Starman’s journey through the skies in 360 degrees. Though no doubt that video is coming from SpaceX at some point down the line. No, instead we’re going to be looking at a relatively new release from another institution, and one more traditionally associated with the final frontier. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known to you and I as NASA.

We’ve of course covered NASA many times on VRFocus down the years, with the organisation having great interest in the development in all the fields of immersive technology – virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) – and they’ve used or experimented with all headsets from the Oculus Rift to the Hololens. Although the latter suffered a minor setback when the ones sent up to the International Space Station kind of got forcibly discombobulated into a million pieces, when the rocket they were going up on exploded.

Whose rocket? SpaceX’s.

In any case today’s video sees NASA looking at a representation of the Orion Nebula that was actually based on an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.  The Orion Nebula is 1,344 ± 20 light years away, which sounds a lot but it is in fact the closest region of space to Earth where you would find such a massive formation of stars.  To give you an idea of the size the Orion Nebula which is also known as the M42 (Messier 42) its width is estimated at 24 light years. Its combined mass however is thought to be 2000 times that of our own sun.

“This visualization journeys into the famous star-forming region of the Orion Nebula based on an image from the Hubble Space Telescope. This exhilarating trip begins by flying through a layer of gas above the nebula, called the “veil.” The descent to the gaseous surface provides an overview of the structure of the region as the winds and radiation from the central cluster have carved out a long “valley” in the cloud. The massive bright stars are responsible for heating the gas to temperatures at which it glows. ”

Check it out below.