Scientific American has launched a nifty new app that lets you explore exoplanets — planets outside our own solar system — from the comfort of your iPad.
Journey to the Exoplanets takes exoplanets out of the realm of fuzzy dots on you're screen and into mind-blowing images territory with more than 100 illustrations and diagrams, some by the amazing science and space artist Ron Miller.
For $10.49, you can "build your own exoplanet" with a tool that lets you change the planet's size. You can also change the size and distance of the planet's native star to see how that would impact the exoplanet. You can examine exoplanets using "accelerometer and gyroscope-controlled panoramic views". The app includes a comprehensive exoplanet size chart and an interactive timeline of key exoplanet discoveries.
With Journey to the Exoplanets Scientific American has launched a new imprint along with Farrar Straus & Giroux — can't wait for what else they have up their sleeves.
The app comes at a time when NASA's Kepler space telescope, the device that finds exoplanets, is about to be taken offline when its funding runs out; Fast Company's design blog suggests this is no coincidence. Let's hope the app plays some role in keeping Kepler alive and exoplanet-hunting. [FastCoDesign]