Saturday, May 21, 2016

New York Times offers "virtual reality" short film tour of "dwarf planet" Pluto

The New York Times offers a seven minute virtual reality filmSeeing Pluto’s Frigid Heart” online,   through the smart phone app NYTVR or Google Play.

When the film is streamed, the view of the dwarf planet’s landscape varies as the viewer tilt’s the phone or tablet screen angle.  The video shows ice-scapes and reddish-brown masses, magnified to suggest an altitude of a few miles, with the NASA Pluto flyby July 14, 2015.  The surface is mostly nitrogen ices with various contaminants.  The thin  atmosphere contains some carbon monoxide and methane.

The moon Clarion, and the moon Triton of Neptune (especially) apparently differ considerably from Pluto, despite similar origins.

The app urges the use of headphones, but the narration can be heard in a quiet room from the phone itself.

On another matter, I’ve noticed that Amazon is very strict about spoiler alerts in accepting user reviews on its website.  Apparently Hollywood is really worried that “knowing the ending” will deter some customers from going to specific films (it doesn’t work that way for me).

Wikipedia attribution link for NASA map of  Pluto

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