NSN Webinar: NASA

NSN Webinar: NASA's Eyes: Sharpen your View of the Earth, Our Solar System and Beyond

  • Nighttime Event
  • Inside Venue
  • Target Audience
  • Teen, Adult
Images: NASA/JPL, courtesy of Kevin Hussey

NSN members joined Kevin Hussey from NASA's JPL  on May 17, 2017, as he demonstrated “NASA’s Eyes,” a trio of programs allowing anyone with an internet connected computer to virtually explore the Earth, our Solar System and beyond. You can watch the recording of this webinar below, or directly on YouTube.

“NASA’s Eyes” is a trio of programs that allows anyone with a computer connected to the internet to virtually explore the Earth, our Solar System and a part of the Milky Way. I will be showing, “Eyes on the Earth,” “Eyes on the Solar System” and “Eyes on Exoplanets” and possibly their museum-friendly Kiosk versions, depending on audience interest.  NASA’s Eyes is unique in showing up-to-date spacecraft position and orientation, Earth datasets, and exoplanet visualizations, which no other software package, to our knowledge, accomplishes.
NASA’s Eyes on the Solar System is a real-time, interactive 3D, virtual reality viewer that uses real NASA/JPL science and engineering data (spacecraft, planets, stars, comets, asteroids…) and allows the user to place a virtual camera anywhere inside or outside the solar system at any time from 1950 to 2050 and observe what is, has or will happen. Major components are added to accurately visualize important NASA events like Cassini’s fly-through of the Enceladus geysers, New Horizon’s Pluto flyby, Juno’s orbit insertion, and both of this year’s major events, the August 21st solar eclipse and the Cassini “Grand Finale” showing every position and movement of the Cassini Spacecraft from just after launch in October of 1997 to following its final transmission back to Earth on September 15th of this year, 2017. 
NASA’s Eyes on the Earth is also a real-time, interactive 3D, virtual reality viewer that shows NASA’s Earth-observing fleet of satellites and uses hundreds of gigabytes of real NASA/JPL and others’ data to visualize often complex Earth science data in a simple to understand and engaging manner.  Users can also read the actual science data values from their screen cursor location as they position it on the Earth in near real-time and as far back as that data allows.  Real-time spacecraft locations are shown and users are encouraged to “ride along” with their Earth science data-gathering robots and compare their sizes to familiar objects.  A couple times a week, users are given the opportunity to visually learn about major events that have happened around the globe and are “flown” there to provide geographic context of the presented imagery and descriptions. Much more could be said about the capability and content but a demonstration is the only way to appreciate what’s been accomplished and available to everyone in the world with a Windows or Mac OS computer and internet connection.
NASA’s Eyes on Exoplanets is a 3D-interactive, creative and engaging visualization of all the stars around which exoplanets have been confirmed, along with all of the confirmed exoplanets. The over 2,500 star systems with their 3,400, plus planets are visualized using only data housed at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute (NExScI) and some artist conceptions. Users are able to search for Exoplanets by name, type, features, or discovery method, discovering organization and many more factors. Comparisons with our Solar System and planets help bring these distant worlds into the minds of citizens around the world. You can view these “hosting” stars from any location on the Earth and see if they belong to one of our many constellations. You may visit any of the over 2,500 systems, view their habitable zones, and determine their distance and travel time from Earth if “driving,” “flying” or moving at the speed of light.  This software was recently used “live” during the Trappist 1 press conference at NASA HQ where scientists used Eyes on Exoplanets to illustrate the system and answer viewers’ questions.  Again, the only way to fully appreciate these pieces of software is to use them or see them demonstrated.
All three of these NASA’s Eyes Applications have been made into permanent exhibits currently on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in our Nation’s Capital. They are also on permanent display at over 20 locations around the country in museums, science centers, libraries and schools. Most of these installations use the “Kiosk” version of NASA’s Eyes, but many utilize the touchscreen compatible “full” versions.

About Kevin J. Hussey

Kevin is currently the Manager of JPL’s Visualization Technology Applications and Development Group in the Office of Communications and Education. Kevin has spent the majority of his 37-year career pioneering innovative tools and techniques to graphically represent virtually every type of data and abstract information used by NASA and Walt Disney Feature Animation. The FBI, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, National Archives, NASA and the DOD (Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines) have all consulted Kevin as an expert in image synthesis and analysis. Kevin has managed teams of software developers, engineers and artists to visualize everything from scanning electron microscopy, exoplanets, radio galaxies to earthquakes and Disney cartoon characters. While at Feature Animation he managed the software developers and support engineers for the ongoing development and support of Disney’s Academy Award-winning Computer Animation Production System (CAPS) and then took over as the Manager of Information Technology before returning to JPL.  Currently, his focus is on creating 3D, real-time, interactive computer graphic systems, using video game software engines, to allow the virtual exploration of the Universe on standard computers and mobile phones.  He leads the team responsible for NASA’s “Eyes” suite of software (eyes.nasa.gov.) Kevin’s career passion and forte is in the visual/graphical representation of complex information in a manner that can be quickly and clearly understood and appreciated by, scientists, engineers, policy makers and the general public. 

Last Updated: May 18, 2017


Webinar Video: NASA"s Eyes with Kevin Hussey

Recorded on May 17, 2017.

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Daytime Event
Daytime Event
Nighttime Event
Nighttime Event
Inside Venue
Inside Venue
Outside Venue
Outside Venue
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