CS491 - Virtual and Augmented Reality

AR Application for StarGazing | SkyView

SkyView is a free application for Android Devices that implements augmented reality to visualize the location of stars and planets in the universe. The application has been demoed and there are a few screenshots following. Generally, these kinds of applications require the following resources to work seamlessly.

  • Device with Camera, Gyroscope and Location sensors.
  • Data set representing the exact location of the given galactic object.
  • Textures to graphically represent the planets and stars.
  • Augmented Reality Libraries to map these objects in the view of the device.

Saturn in SkyView

Saturn is the sixth planet in our solar system and the second largest after Jupiter. Jupiter is also described as the beautiful planet due its rings. With SkyView initially, it was hard finding saturn, but after some looking, there it was looking majestically with its rings. In the picture, we can notice that the application shows the planet inside a tree. This location is based on the location of where the user is and also where the planet actually is, corresponding to the user's location. So people viewing the same planet from different locations will see at different sides.

Along with the location, the application represents the planet in that location with a texture that is similar to the original planet. This is of course a scaled version of the planet. At the bottom of the application, you could see that there are extra data pertaining to the planet. In this case, it is the fact that a day in saturn lasts only 11 hours.

Saturn in SkyView

Moon in SkyView

Moon is the natural satellite of the planet Earth. A satellite is an object that revolves around a planet. Mapping moon in the space during this time was a tricky part. Moon is the nearest object to the Earth and it is very much visible to the naked eye. But its not visible during newmoon day(currently underway). Hence the application here shows the moon as a big black dot.

It could be another task to check how the moon is represented in the app during normal day or a full moon day, when the moon is actucally visible to everyone normally.

Moon in SkyView

Future Applications

In future such applications may be built into AR glasses that would be specifically used by astronauts going on missions into the outerspace. So these applications must be loaded in a device that is location aware even in the outer space. So with that location as a reference, the application should be able to map all the celestial objects in the outerspace. With a device with such a capability and also expecting advanced space suits, an astronaut can go on space walking for a longer distance and never ever be lost. This also can be coupled with data such as space storms that are approaching, falling of shooting stars, etc. This would give manking an extra arm that would safely take our researchers into the outerspace.