This page contains a list of the tutorial videos that we have prepared for people getting familiar with OpenSpace for the first time, or familiar users that want to gain a deeper understanding of some of the datasets that are included in the software. All these videos are for the OpenSpace version 0.11 Beta that was released on 2018-01-01.

1. Getting Started

This video shows how to load OpenSpace, display menus (F2: basic, F3: advanced) , and conduct basic interaction using mouse navigation. Of note is how OpenSpace loads with Earth as the default center of interest. The basics of time control are also covered.

2. Earth Terrain Viewing

Here we show the default image of Earth, which (assuming you are connected to the Internet) is the latest available global mosaic available from NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS). This means that for today’s image, we show yesterday’s full global mosaic. Using right mouse to decrease our range, or altitude above Earth, we see that as we get closer we dissolve to a cloudless Earth with visible bathymetry for the oceans supplied by the GIS company, ESRI. Closer still, we descend through a proper atmospheric model into actual terrain and show how to then pan the camera (using the “control” key) from looking down to looking up toward the horizon and roll the view to level it, then look around. (Note: a basic directional misquotation is made twice, where it should say that Yosemite Valley is West of Mono Lake, not East).

3. Exploring the Moon

Moving off the default target of Earth, we show how to select the Moon as our focus and navigate toward it. We show how to access its surface map layer and adjust its attributes. Adjustments to “gamma” and “multiplier” settings can effectively alter display settings for particular displays, and are quite useful. Also, location of the “level of detail” slider is shown that can be adjusted at the expense of rendering time, or efficiency of one’s particular graphics card. Finally, we see how to use the “f” key as a “friction” toggle for orbital motion using the left mouse interaction.

4. Earth Map Layers

The selection of Earth layers from menu and by time are covered in this video. We start with introducing the choice of layers for the night side of Earth, where we change the default “Earth at Night 2012”, to daily “Temporal Earth at Night” coverage served from NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS). Day side selection of layers for Earth is then shown in the menu structure, as well as by changing time, stepping back a day at time.

5. Galaxy Surveys

Here we feature the galaxy surveys available in OpenSpace from the American Museum of Natural History’s Digital Universe Atlas. We start out at Earth and move away from it while remaining centered on it to gain an ever widening perspective, from planet within the solar system to a location orbiting half way out from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our galaxy’s position as a data point within larger galaxy surveys brings us to much broader appreciation of the scale of the universe. Brent Tully’s thirty thousand galaxies extends out to about 300 million light years, where we then pick up the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, numbering around 2.5 million galaxies, adding in about a million more from the Two Degree Field, Six Degree Field, and Two Micron All-Sky Surveys. Of note, the “sky” surveys allude to mapping the sky as seen from here, on or in orbit around Earth, but these surveys give us distances which are used to create these three dimensional distributions derived within the Digital Universe Atlas.

6. Milky Way Galaxy Introduction

Our idea of “home” is expanded here, from Earth in orbit as just another planet within the solar system, to that of just one member of the vast Milky Way Galaxy. We show how time can be used from an Earthly perspective to show how the Sun seems to move against the background Zodiacal constellations along with the planets, then move back to see how this all makes sense within a flat orbital system viewed farther back. Moving much father away we see how the stars are distributed three dimensionally, and how the constellations deform with gathering distance. We introduce the concept of the Radio Sphere (illustrated with celestial coordinates) that shows how far Earth’s strong radio signals, beginning with radar at the time of World War Two, have traveled radially out to about seventy five light years, well into the stellar data base. We show how to turn on the exoplanet locations and labels. After showing both Hyades and Pleiades clusters the staler data base, we show the distributions of galactic (“open”) and globular clusters and how they, coupled with stellar birth regions of ionized hydrogen gas (“HII” regions), trace out galactic structure.