Swiss reveals an open-source beta software to explore the Universe at different scales

Oct 14, 2021 | Shaoni Ghosh

Swiss reveals an open-source beta software to explore the Universe at different scales title banner

Computer algorithms are capable enough of agitating terabytes of data which in turn, shall procure images. These images would seem, as if, they are as near as one meter or in the broader sense, they are floating in the infinity. 


Into the Universe and Beyond


The researchers at one of the top universities of Switzerland have unveiled an open-source beta software on Tuesday. This beta software would enable a venture through virtual means into the cosmos which include that of the International Space Station. 


The program is named as Virtual Reality Universe Project, or VIRUP which creates an assemblage of what the researchers refer as a huge dataset of the universe into a 3D as well as a panoramic visualizations of outer space.


This program (VIRUP) can be accessed by anyone for free. Needless to mention, to access this, one needs to have a computer. The panoramic visualization can be observed with VR equipment or three-dimensional potentialities. 


(Must Check: Applications of Virtual Reality)


The software engineers and astrophysicists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, or EPFL have assembled together to prepare a virtual map that can be viewed through "VR gear, immersion systems…planetarium-like dome screens, ...PC for two-dimensional viewing," as reported by


Jean-Paul Kneib explains that after merging all the data into one specific framework, one could view the observable universe at different scales--the solar system, the Milky Way and what not!


(Related Reading- The Milky Way- One of the Examples of Spiral Galaxies)


The beta version of this software cannot be run on a Mac computer. The VIRUP captures the attention of a wide array of visitors- in the process, the scientists are visualizing the dataset and the visitors are exploring the universe virtually.


(Also Check: How Big Is The Universe?)


The project collects data from eight different databases-- if counted, it would estimate about 4,500 known exoplanets, and almost the universe in itself. But to consider the required data containing the potential to further the research, the sky's the limit, and so is outer space. 


For the VIRUP Project, data has been retrieved from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey in the United States, and European Space Agency's Gaia mission in order to witness the first light of the universe. And even the Square Kilometer Array collected data that can be measured in the form of petabytes.


It could visualize the Moon, which is "the size of a giant beach ball", beyond the Solar System, Saturn and other exoplanets marked with red hue, galaxies highlighted in small dots of light. And a string of a colourful visualization of the Cosmic Microwave Background was viewed, which is the radiation produced by Big Bang.


An EPFL astrophysicist, Yves Revaz stated the first and foremost part of the VIRUP project is to characterize larger data sets.Conclusively, Kneib stated the three-dimensional visualization and an assemblage of galaxies, when viewed, would make one realize what the universe is and how big it is. 

Tags #Technology