New 3D Instagram Experience from NASA

Data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and other telescopes is the basis for a new project providing 3D experiences on Instagram through augmented reality (AR). Uses will travel virtually through objects in space. The new experiences are being released to assist in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the operations from Chandra.

Instagram experiences, or filters as they were previously known, have allowed participants to virtually explore the experiences of NASA mission control, the International Space Station, and the Perseverance Rover on Mars.

The new experiences are created from 3D models based on data collected by Chandra and other telescopes along with mathematical models. Due to the two dimensional projection on the sky traditionally observed it has been difficult to gather 3D data of objects in our galaxy. Astronomers have access to new instruments and techniques, allowing them to construct data-driven models of what the distant objects look like in 3D.

The collaboration with NASA, the Smithsonian Institution and students and researchers at Brown University have made the new set of Chandra Instagram experiences possible. Some of the objects include the Tycho supernova remnant, the Helix Nebula and the Vela Pulsar. These experiences are free and available on Instagram here.