Today we have published the first public BETA version (v0.703b) of the Gaia Sandbox, a real-time, 3D, astronomy visualisation application that runs on Linux, Windows and MacOSX systems. Its main purpose is to serve as an outreach platform to ESA’s Gaia mission, and it is free (as in freedom and gratis). It is also open source under the LGPL, so go try it out!
The Gaia Sandbox is a real time simulation of Gaia, the Solar System and the Galaxy with advanced graphics and more than 100.000 stars to observe and navigate through. Here are some of its main features:
- Real time 3D simulation of the Solar System and the Galaxy.
- Intuitive controls to steer the camera with ease.
- Real Gaia orbit and attitude.
- Real time Gaia Field of View projections.
- Real time Gaia observation computation.
- Scriptable with python.
- Output each frame as an image with any resolution to compose videos.
- Postprocessing effects: Lens flare, bloom.
- Atmospheric scattering model.
- Dynamic hi-res texturing.
- Per-pixel lighting.
- Realistic time simulation.
- Works on Windows, Linux and MacOSX.
Download the application from its home page, where you can also get more information on it: Gaia Sandbox home page.