Google and NASA's latest project lets you explore the solar system in 3D

Splash screen for the "Our Solar System" project
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google Search now has more than 60 3D models of planets and moons, thanks to a partnership with NASA.
  • Users are able to view the models on their desktops or mobile phones using AR.
  • A new Google Arts & Culture experience allows users to tour the solar system with interesting facts and visuals.

If you're as into astronomy as I am (although I'm a bit obsessed), then Google's latest experience might be right up your alley. Thanks to a partnership with NASA, you can now explore the solar system in 3D with new experiences coming to Search and Arts & Culture.

With the new experience, you can now search for planets, satellites, or other objects like the new James Webb Space Telescope and view them from different angles in 3D. And while Google previously launched a 3D model of the JWST to celebrate its launch, this new experience builds on that by including cards with information on various topics of each planet or object.

You can even view these celestial objects in AR using your Android phone, filling up your home with a 3D model of the Earth or the Artemis SLS rocket.

But for the nerdier folk like me, Google has a new Arts & Culture project that lets users give into the solar system with an educational tour. The visual experience combines the 3D models with more in-depth facts about the planets (like the diamond rain on my favorite Neptune) and various NASA instruments.

And the experience isn't just for space nerds like myself but anyone even remotely curious about our cosmic neighborhood.

"Our nation’s future in air and space starts with inspiring students and igniting a spark of curiosity in STEM in today’s classrooms," says Kris Brown, NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for STEM Engagement. "The ability to see our solar system and join missions like the James Webb Space Telescope in 3D will give students a unique perspective of space and, hopefully, engage them in expanding their understanding of our home planet and our place in the universe. We hope these students will begin a journey of learning on STEM pathways toward building our next generation of explorers."

You can head over to Google Arts & Culture now to explore our solar system up close.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.