Entertainment & Events
Explore the Universe with SpaceEngine
In our home Milky Way galaxy, there are over 200 billion stars just like our very own sun, and that’s just in one single galaxy. There are over one hundred billion galaxies in our known universe, and now, you have the chance to explore every single one.
SpaceEngine is a free-to-download sandbox simulator that allows users to explore the universe with exceptional accuracy. Previously, the program was capable of allowing users to explore a large swath of stars and galaxies called the Hipparcos catalogue. This selection consisted of about 10,000 galaxies, and included all kinds of celestial bodies including asteroids and exoplanets. However, this wasn’t enough for astronomer and game developer Vladimir Romanyuk.
Knowing no amount of code could ever be written to truly showcase the sheer scale of the universe, he developed an algorithm to fill in these massive gaps. He began to methodically populate his sandbox universe with various objects like neutron stars, black holes, planets, moons, asteroids, and even comets. The algorithm in question relies on procedural generation, meaning it takes general parameters like mass, radius, and temperatures of celestial objects, and creates them in order to populate this massive simulated universe. With SpaceEngine you can become a cosmic explorer with the universe at your fingertips. Users can board a spacecraft from Earth, search for an area of the universe you wish to explore, power up your ship’s thrusters, and accelerate into hyper speed using your warp drive.
This is just one possibility while exploring the universe using SpaceEngine. Only one example of the trillions upon trillions of possible planets that are able to be explored. Each and every planet you come across will be incredibly detailed and breathtakingly beautiful, and the coolest part is that they are all grounded in complete scientific reality. This is the most accurate way to experience the sheer immensity of our immeasurable universe. SpaceEngine is capable of running on practically any modern computer, so go start your exploration of the universe.